31 March 2016

Crown Princess Mary's New Tiara is an Antique

Crown Princess Mary wears the necklace and earrings at Aarhus on 8 Apr 2015 (Photo: Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty)

We've got even more provenance news about the new tiara/necklace worn by Crown Princess Mary! Turns out the rumors from Billed-Bladet were correct: it is an antique, it was purchased at auction, and it's actually a part of a set! Even more exciting? There are rubies and spinels sprinkled throughout this jewel...

Image of the necklace/tiara from the Bruun Rasmussen auction catalogue

The tiara -- and the pair of earrings that Mary has been wearing with it -- were both auctioned at Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen on March 1, 2012. The auction catalogue notes offer information on the pieces' condition and provenance:

Lot 289: A diamond jewellery set comprising a necklace and a pair of later ear screws set with numerous rose and old mine-cut diamonds, circular-cut rubies and spinels, mounted in 14k gold and silver. L. necklace 47 cm. L. ear screws 3 cm. One stone missing. Circa 1900-1910.

Left: the earrings depicted in the Bruun Rasmussen auction catalogue; Right: Crown Princess Mary wears the earrings on April 8, 2015 (Photo: Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty)

The catalogue also notes: "The necklace was originally used as a tiara." The set was accompanied by a case; auction estimates for the set were between 4,000 and 5,350 euros (today, that's about $4500-$6000 in USD).

Detail of the tiara/necklace from the Bruun Rasmussen auction catalogue

If Mary bought the tiara and earrings herself (as Billed-Bladet suggests) in 2012, there was certainly a gap between the purchase and her first public outing of the set, which was in April 2015. But, as the condition reports note, the tiara/necklace wasn't in perfect shape. Diamonds had to be replaced, and as a tiara frame wasn't advertised as a part of the lot, it's possible a new one had to be made.

Thanks to @european_royals for sending me the link to the catalogue!