23 April 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire vs Nizam Roses

Romanov splendor meets Cartier elegance in this match-up...

PATRICK RIVIERE/AFP via Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch vs. The Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooches


This classic cabochon sapphire and diamond cluster brooch, which has a distinctive pear-shaped pearl pendant drop, was owned by Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. She received it in 1866 as a wedding present from her sister and brother-in-law, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom. Queen Mary purchased the brooch from the empress's estate in 1929, and the Queen inherited it in 1953. She wears it occasionally, both with and without the pearl pendant.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad presented the Queen with a suite of diamond jewelry from Cartier as a wedding present. The set included a tiara, which was later dismantled; these diamond rose brooches are all that remain from the tiara's previous design. The Queen often wears the largest of the three, but you'll also occasionally see her wearing the smaller two together as a pair.

One more match coming your way today...