04 May 2015

Queen Máxima's Tutti Frutti Jewels

Happy May, everybody! It's a new month, which means that we've also got a new Magpie of the Month ---and I think you're all going to be pretty excited about a whole month with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands! We're starting off with a fun, exuberant demi-parure that reflects the joyful nature of its wearer: Máxima's set of tutti frutti jewels.

Tutti Frutti jewelry was popularized by Cartier in the early twentieth century. The name of the style means "all fruits" in Italian, so appropriately the jewelry includes multicolored gemstones. The first tutti frutti necklace was made in 1901 by Cartier for Queen Alexandra, who husband, Edward VII, had just succeeded his mother as monarch. She reportedly needed a necklace to pair with brightly colored gowns made of Indian fabric, and an elaborate necklace that paired diamonds with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires worked perfectly.

Máxima's tutti frutti set, which includes a necklace and a bracelet, don't appear to have been made by Cartier, but they are apparently pieces of antique jewelry. They were purchased for Máxima at Christie's in Amsterdam; many sources suggest that the set was a gift from her husband, King Willem-Alexander. She debuted the necklace and the bracelet at his fortieth birthday party in 2007.

While the necklace features a traditional bib design, the bracelet is a bit different: it includes a central "stem" or "branch" of diamonds, from which elements set with multicolored gems radiate. The bracelet reportedly was purchased for around $32,000, and the necklace for another $35,000, bringing the price tag for Máxima's set to just under $70,000.

Máxima has worn the complete set in public a few times, but more often, you'll just see her wearing the bracelet with other pieces of jewelry. Above, during a recent visit to Poland, she paired the bracelet with diamond and ruby jewels.

Do you like tutti frutti jewels? Do you agree with some jewel lovers who believe that Máxima's set was over-priced?