29 April 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Scallop-Shell vs Saskatchewan Tourmaline

A pair of regal gifts face off in this afternoon's brooch contest...

John Stillwell/Pool/Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch vs. The Saskatchewan Tourmaline Brooch

Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images

This masterful brooch, which features a shell motif in diamonds studded with a single round pearl, was made in 1919 in London by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co., Ltd. It was designed in part by Sir Courtauld Thomson, who was the son of a famous Scottish inventor. His sister, the writer Winifred Hope Thomson, ended up with the piece, and she left it to the Queen Mother in 1944. She treasured the piece, even wearing it on her 100th birthday. Now, the present Queen loves and wears the brooch equally frequently.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

This vibrant modern brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen, presented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan in 2013. Made by Rachel Mielke of the Canadian jewelry firm Hillberg and Berk, the brooch is made of white gold set with Madagascar tourmalines, diamonds, and a single freshwater pearl. The Queen reportedly "gasped" when she received the brooch, and she's made it a part of her regular rotation.

More brooches are heading your way tomorrow! In the meantime, stay tuned for our Nightly Necklace...