Few examples of royal jewelry set with spinels are as magnificent as this incredible parure, made for a Queen of Bavaria almost two centuries ago. Today, we’ve got a look at the tiara from the suite, worn by Crown Princess Antonia.
Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria, the wife of the last Bavarian crown prince, was a daughter of Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg. In 1921, she became the second wife of Crown Prince Rupprecht, who had lost his throne after World War I. Regardless, Antonia posed for a series of grand portraits around the time of their wedding, wearing jewels from the family’s treasury. The photographs were taken by a famous German photographer, Franz Grainer, who had a studio in Munich.
In the portraits, Crown Princess Antonia wears one of the grandest pieces of jewelry from the Bavarian royal vaults: the tiara from the Bavarian Ruby and Spinel Parure. The set of jewels was created for Queen Therese of Bavaria in 1830. The set, which also includes a grand necklace, earrings, and a set of bracelets, was a gift from her husband, King Ludwig I.
The tiara, which is absolutely massive, features vines and flowers in its design. Both rubies and spinels are set in the center of these floral elements. The entire set was made by the Bavarian court jeweler, Caspar Rieländer.
In these grand royal portraits, taken at the end of the history of Bavaria’s monarchy, Crown Princess Antonia balances the massive tiara atop a white cap with lappets. She also appears to be wearing the parure’s necklace, nestled beneath several strands of pearls. Today, the tiara and its coordinating jewels reside in the treasury room of one of Bavaria’s grandest museums, the Residenz in Munich.
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