Marguerite de Savoie’s tiara

For her wedding, Marguerite’s future father-in-law, King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy bought her a superb tiara designed by Mellerio dits Meller jewellery house at the World Exposition in Paris in 1867.

It was made up of laurel leaves and berries, with a floral centre part on which shone a cushion cut diamond.

This jewel of naturalist inspiration, set with more than 2000 diamonds, is a perfect example of the jewels of that era. The symbolism of flora and fauna lends a romantic touch to these diamond jewels which were often wedding gifts.

The Italians were sympathetic to the unique elegance of their sovereign and names her the “ the Pearl Queen” because of her passion for them.

Fourteen diamond pieces, each one of them made of laurel leaves and two berries, make up this tiara. The middle part represents a flower with a central diamond of cushion-cut shape. During the Paris World’s Exhibition in 1867, the Jewellery House of Mellerio, known as Meller, will sell this superb tiara to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, who ordered it as a gift for his future daughter-in-law, Marguerite de Savoie-Gênes, who will marry the future Umberto I of Italy in 1968. Right until this day, the project designs, as well as the documents pertaining to the order of the tiara, remain in the jeweller’s archives.

The gemstone collection of the Kings of Italy is truly stunning. Fortunately, in contrast with other royal collections, the splendid jewels in this most important treasure trove have survived both events of war and crisis. Even today, members of the royal house are wearing these superb tiaras or necklaces during major events. Queen Marguerite was an outstanding personality and distinguished herself as a modern woman primarily because of her beauty, her elegance and her courage. She was to wear the tiara often, especially when she was attending to her duties as First Lady of the Royal Court, in the company of her father-in-law, widower Victor Emmanuel II. The people of Italy were not unaware of her unique elegance and were wont to call her « the Pearl Queen », because of her passion for pearls. Her jewellery collection of diamonds did not go unnoticed by the other European monarchs. Not only her elegant bearing, but likewise her support and protection of the arts and charitable endeavors, identifies this exceptional royal figure. She will also become known as the first lady of royal rank to love the automobile and she was instrumental in the launch of mountain tourism in the region of Val d’Aoste.

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