01 November 2020

The Baden Ivy Leaf Brooch

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images
 

We've been discussing jewels worn in Europe's parliaments all week here on TCJ, and today, I've got a brooch that pops up occasionally at Sweden's parliamentary opening ceremony: the Baden Ivy Leaf Brooch.


JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images


This delicate and beautiful brooch features a diamond ivy leaf studded with a central white pearl. Three more pearls radiate from the side of the leaf in its brooch setting. The leaf can also be removed from the brooch setting and worn separately. Note the bale at the top of the leaf, which allows it to be strung on a necklace and worn as a pendant.


Wikimedia Commons


The brooch was first worn by Victoria of Baden, who was Queen of Sweden from 1907 until 1930. In the portrait above, taken around the time of her marriage to King Gustaf V in 1882, she wears the brooch pinned to the neckline of a light-colored gown. She's also wearing an impressive five-stranded pearl necklace and a diamond star ornament in her hair.


Anefo/Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons


After Victoria's death, the brooch was worn by her daughter-in-law, Queen Louise of Sweden. She wore it prominently during a state visit to the Netherlands in April 1955.


JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images


Today, the brooch is worn by the current generation of the Swedish royal family. In September 2014, Queen Silvia of Sweden wore the brooch for the opening of the Riksdag, Sweden's parliament. The brooch is a perfect ornament for the event, which has a black-and-white dress code. (That color scheme is a relic of the days when the Swedish royal women wore court dress for the occasion.) With her black-and-white outfits, Queen Silvia usually wears diamonds and pearls for the event.


Elisabeth Toll, The Royal Court of Sweden


In June 2020, Crown Princess Victoria wore the brooch with an elegant cream-colored dress for a portrait taken as part of her 10th wedding anniversary celebrations. The brooch neatly linked the future Queen Victoria with her great-great-grandmother, Sweden's previous Queen Victoria.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Crown Princess Victoria has also innovated with the brooch. Here, she wears it in its pendant setting on a diamond necklace during the 2007 Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm. She paired it with the family's Six-Button Tiara and the grand Diamond Lozenge Brooch, as well as the diamond earrings from Queen Josefina's Stomacher.


Elisabeth Toll, The Royal Court of Sweden


I expect we'll see the Baden Ivy Leaf Brooch on Swedish royal ladies for generations to come. The piece has an important heirloom provenance, but it still looks modern and is very wearable. The size, design, versatility, and materials of the brooch make it the perfect bauble for a royal jewelry box.