04 November 2018

The Duchess of Cornwall's Topaz and Diamond Ribbon Brooch

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November babies are blessed with a vivid birthstone that shines in several shades, including deep orange and bright yellow. Today, we've got a closer look at a diamond and topaz brooch from the collection of the Duchess of Cornwall.


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The brooch's single appearance so far came more than a decade ago: on June 20, 2007, which was the second day of that year's Royal Ascot races.


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The brooch features an elaborate diamond border surrounding a large smoky orange topaz. It's such a large piece that I've often wondered whether it might originally have been meant to be a devant de corsage, a large stomacher ornament that was often part of a nineteenth-century parure of jewels.


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Here's a better side-angle view of the brooch. The diamond border features curling ribbons and trailing ivy leaves. In 2006 and 2007, Camilla wore several jewels from the collection of the late Queen Mother, and many have naturally speculated that this brooch was also from her jewelry box. We also know, though, that Charles has been known to purchase jewels for Camilla at auction. To my knowledge, no provenance information for this brooch has ever been firmly established.


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The size of this brooch certainly makes it more difficult to wear than most, but I'd absolutely love to see it appear once more in public. Its size and intricacy would make it perfectly suited for a gala appearance!