05 November 2017

Jewels in Motion: "The Ageless Diamond"

In 1959, Christie's in London held a magnificent exhibition, "The Ageless Diamond," featuring numerous pieces with royal and noble provenance. Today, I've got some incredibly sparkly footage from the exhibition for you to marvel at. Enjoy!

The Nepal Diamond from Harry Winston, a 79.41-carat pear-shaped diamond, was displayed as a pendant on a diamond necklace

The Northumberland Strawberry Leaf Tiara, made with diamonds presented to the family by King George IV, was on display just a few years before it was stolen during the Greek state visit in 1963

This sparkling diamond tiara belonged to the Marquess and Marchioness of Angelsey

Press materials from the exhibition state that this diamond ring belonged to Madame du Barry, the famous mistress of King Louis XV

The exhibition notes identify this tiara as belonging to the ill-fated Marie Antoinette, but that connection is pretty tenuous, if not downright disingenuous. The tiara was displayed alongside the Sutherland Diamond Necklace, which was made with diamonds from the infamous necklace that never belonged to Marie Antoinette; it seems this tiara may also have been made from diamonds used in that necklace. The tiara reportedly belonged to the Spencer family at one point, having been given to Margaret, wife of the 6th Earl Spencer, by her father, the 1st Baron Revelstoke

The diamond-studded Garter star that belonged to King George VI was included in the exhibition

And Queen Elizabeth II also loaned several pieces of personal jewelry to the exhibition, including the magnificent Williamson Diamond Brooch

The grand Cullinan III & IV Brooch, affectionately called "Granny's Chips" by the Queen, was displayed to the public in an exhibition setting for the very first time

Elizabeth also lent her "best diamonds," the South African Diamonds given to her as a 21st birthday present in 1947

Queen Alexandra's fabulous diamond kokoshnik was also loaned by the Queen. Proceeds from the entrance tickets and the exhibition catalogue went to charities favored by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the National Playing Fields Association and Children's Country Holiday Fund