10 November 2018

On the Block: A Trio of Bourbon-Parma Tiaras

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

As next week's magnificent Bourbon-Parma royal jewel sale approaches, today we've got a closer look at the three tiaras included in the auction at Sotheby's.


DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Lot 88 from the auction is an incredible diamond tiara that prominently features the fleur-de-lis, an important symbol for the various branches of the House of Bourbon, including the Bourbon-Parmas. The fleur-de-lis elements can be removed from the tiara and worn as brooches. The tiara's auction estimate is set at between $354,113 and $556,463.


Sotheby's

The tiara was made in 1912 by Hübner, an Austrian jewelry firm. Fittingly, it was made for a member of the Austrian royal family: Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, daughter of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen and Princess Isabella of Croy. She married Prince Elias, Duke of Parma in 1903.


Maria Anna wears the tiara

Maria Anna posed for a portrait wearing the tiara and court dress around the same time that the piece was made.


DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Some of the diamonds used in the creation of the tiara were taken from a badge of the Order of the Saint-Esprit. The badge of this French order was made around 1820 for King Charles X and was passed down to his great-grandson, Prince Robert, Duke of Parma. The frame of the badge is also included in the auction as Lot 87.


Sotheby's

Lot 76, a diamond tiara with scroll and floral designs, was made in 1901 by the Austrian imperial court jeweler, Köchert. It was given to Archduchess Maria Anna in 1903 as a wedding present by an important family member: Emperor Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary. The tiara is expected to bring between $80,940 and $121,410 at auction.


Sotheby's

The final tiara on offer, Lot 83, is a ruby and diamond bow brooch that can also be worn as a tiara-like hair ornament. The jewel was made by a Hungarian firm, Bachruch, around 1900. It was given to Archduchess Maria Anna by her father, the Duke of Teschen, in 1905 after the birth of her second child, Prince Charles Louis.


Maria Anna wears the brooch in her hair

Not long after she received it, a youthful Maria Anna posed for a portrait wearing the brooch as a tiara-like heir ornament. The piece is estimated to sell for between $202,350 and $303,525 on Wednesday.


More from The Court Jeweller on the Bourbon-Parma Jewelry Auction