The royal family of Belgium has long been thought to have one of the smallest jewelry collections in Europe—but, delightfully, the King and Queen of the Belgians have recently been adding numerous antique jewels to their vault. Recently, we learned that yet another jewelry set has been acquired by Philippe and Mathilde at auction, this time set with diamonds and kunzites.
Queen Mathilde of the Belgians has been wearing a set of diamond and kunzite jewels in public for the last four years. She debuted the suite, which includes a pair of earrings and a matching ring, in November 2018 during an Armistice Day commemoration. She’s worn the pieces on several occasions since, and made a notable appearance in the kunzites in March 2022 during a state visit from the President of Austria.
A few days ago, on January 26, Queen Mathilde wore the earrings for a New Year reception in Brussels.
Here’s a closer view of the earrings and ring from Sotheby’s, who auctioned the jewels in London in June 2018. (Thanks to both the Queen Mathilde Blog and UFO No More for highlighting the auction!) The lot notes describe the individual earrings as each “set with a pear-shaped kunzite framed by brilliant-cut and tapered baguette diamonds, suspended from a line of brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds,” and the ring as “set with an oval kunzite.” Both the ring and the earrings bear British hallmarks.
Here’s a closer view of the earrings from the Austrian state dinner in March 2022.
And here’s the ring, visible as Queen Mathilde toasted with the Austrian president during the same dinner.
A few months later, in June 2022, Princess Elisabeth wore the ring for the gala dinner in Oslo celebrating the 18th birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway. She also debuted a new tiara on that occasion, which was also confirmed by the palace to be an antique jewel acquired by the family in 2019 for Elisabeth’s use.
The kunzites and the tiara are just the latest in a string of fabulous antique jewelry acquisitions made by the Belgian king and queen. In the same June 2018 auction at Sotheby’s in London, they purchased this gorgeous diamond and sapphire brooch. Made by an Milanese jeweler, G. Confalonieri, who worked at the turn of the 20th century, the brooch was described by Sotheby’s as “a ribbon bow, suspending laurel wreaths, set with rose diamonds and an oval sapphire.”
Queen Mathilde memorably wore the sapphire and diamond brooch on the first day of the couple’s state visit to Lithuania in October 2022.
This spectacular diamond bow brooch was also added to Queen Mathilde’s jewelry box in recent years. Described as a “belle epoque” jewel that was the “property of a lady,” the diamond and platinum bow was sold at auction by Christie’s in Geneva in November 2019. The brooch dates to the 1910s. It was purchased for 18,750 Swiss francs (or approximately $20,400 USD at the time of this writing).
Queen Mathilde wore the brooch in London in September 2022, during the state funeral commemorations for the late Queen Elizabeth II. She’s pictured above in the diamond bow as she pays her respects to the late monarch during the lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
Mathilde also has another antique diamond brooch that made its way into her collection following an auction: her diamond butterfly brooch, which was made around 1900. She’s worn the brooch on numerous occasions, including the funerals for Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and King Constantine II, the former King of the Hellenes.
These unusual diamond and ebony earrings are also a recent Belgian royal auction acquisition. The earrings, made in France and signed by Boivin, were sold at auction by Christie’s in Paris in June 2018. The lot notes described the unusual earrings as “triangular in shape, each punctuated with three rows of round diamonds.” They sold for €9375 (or around $10,000 USD as I’m currently writing).
Queen Mathilde wore the earrings recently in November 2022 for a special gala dinner commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Missing Children Europe organization in Brussels.
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