Royal jewelry auction season continues with yet another Danish royal heirloom heading to the auction block. This time, it’s a rather spectacular emerald and diamond bracelet that belonged to Queen Alexandrine.
On December 1, the Danish auction house of Bruun Rasmussen will offer this magnificent royal bracelet for sale. It’s the same auction that also includes Princess Thyra’s Sapphire Tiara, another Danish royal heirloom. This Art Deco bracelet, however, has a different history. It belonged to Queen Alexandrine, the grandmother of the present Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II.
The lot notes from the auction describe the bracelet as “a unique and rare Royal Art Deco emerald and diamond bracelet, links of beehive-shaped form with line framing, centered with five sugarloaf cabochon emeralds and four cushion-shaped old mine-cut diamonds, encircled by numerous rose and old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in [platinum].” A additional diamond link is also included in the lot, enabling the bracelet to be lengthened to better fit its next wearer. The “original fitted brown leather case” from Michelsen in Copenhagen is included in the lot as well.
Just as there were in the notes for the sapphire tiara, there are some assumptions made regarding the materials and provenance of the bracelet. The notes state that the bracelet was made in the 1920s, “presumably” in France. The other speculative statement is related to the source of the emeralds: the auction house states that they are “presumably Colombian.”
The bracelet originally belonged to an interesting Danish royal figure. Queen Alexandrine, the wife of King Christian X, was born Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Her mother, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna, was a Romanov grand duchess who led an unconventional royal life. (You can read more about her here.) Alexandrine and her siblings were raised in both Germany and the south of France, where Anastasia owned a villa.
In 1898, Alexandrine married the future King Christian X of Denmark at her mother’s home in Cannes. Their engagement and wedding were overshadowed by the untimely death of Alexandrine’s father, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III. Ultimately, though, Alexandrine and Christian had a successful marriage. He ascended to the Danish throne in 1912, and she worked supportively alongside him as queen consort until his death in 1947.
The emerald and diamond bracelet is said to have entered Alexandrine’s jewelry collection in the 1920s, during her time as Queen of Denmark. The Bruun Rasmussen catalogue speculates that “it could have been a silver wedding present to Queen Alexandrine of Denmark in 1923 or a gift for her 50th birthday in 1929.” Either way, there don’t appear to be any surviving photographs of Alexandrine wearing the bracelet. This probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Queen Margrethe has often commented that her paternal grandmother wasn’t much interested in jewelry overall, though she would occasionally don the pieces required for gala occasions.
Christian and Alexandrine had two sons, King Frederik IX and Hereditary Prince Knud. When Alexandrine died in 1952, the emerald bracelet was left to Knud and his wife, Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde. From them, it passed to their only daughter, Princess Elisabeth of Denmark, who wore it occasionally for gala events. (See a picture of her wearing the bracelet here.) Elisabeth died in 2018, and the bracelet was inherited by her family members (likely her Rosenborg nieces or her surviving brother, Count Ingolf). Those unidentified owners are the ones now selling the piece at auction. Bruun Rasmussen describes them simply as “descendants of King Frederik VIII and Queen Lovisa of Denmark,” the same people offering the sapphire tiara for sale.
The bracelet will be sold at auction on Thursday, December 1. The auction estimate for the piece is set at 300,000–400,000 DKK (or about $42,000-56,000 USD at today’s exchange rate).