29 July 2019

Princess Margaret's Ruby Girandole Earrings

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Princess Margaret's extensive jewelry collection contained a whole lot of one favorite stone: July's birthstone, the mighty red ruby. Today, we've got a closer look at her delicate ruby and diamond girandole earrings.




Christie's

The earrings are a classic example of the girandole style. (A "girandole" was originally an elaborate light fixture with several branches for candles, like a small chandelier.) The stud portion of each earring is set with a ruby, as is the largest drop.


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The earrings were favorites of Margaret's for nearly her entire life. They feature prominently in her pensive 26th birthday portrait, taken by Cecil Beaton in 1956.


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She often wore the earrings for appearances at film premieres and theatrical performances, where she met some of the most famous stars of the era. In 1958, she wore the earrings to meet Sophia Loren and William Holden at the premiere of The Key.


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She also wore the earrings to meet Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin after the premiere of Doctor Zhivago in April 1966.


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For both the Doctor Zhivago premiere and the 1972 Royal European Preview of Lauren Bacall's stage musical, Applause, Margaret paired the girandole earrings with her ruby flower brooch.


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In 1996, Margaret wore the girandole earrings during a visit to the United States, where she met with former First Lady Nancy Reagan during a dinner for the British Museum Development Trust at the Beverly Hills Hotel.


Christie's

After her death in 2002, the earrings were some of the numerous jewels from her estate that were sold at auction. In 2006, a buyer purchased the earrings, as well as a fitted leather box from Wartski, for 54,000 pounds.