Hesse Sapphire Necklace | The Royal Watcher

Today marks the 160th Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven, who was born on this day in 1863! Queen Victoria’s Hessian granddaughter who was the sister of the last Empress of Russia and married her Battenberg Cousin, becoming the mother of Earl Mountbatten and Queen Louise of Sweden, and the grandmother of the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Victoria possessed some spectacular jewels, including the Hesse Sapphire Necklace!

Mountbatten Pearl Star Tiara | Queen Victoria’s Emerald Tiara | Hesse Sapphire Necklace | Hesse Emerald Brooch

When Princess Alice of Great Britain and Ireland, the second daughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Louis of Hesse in 1862, she received some spectacular wedding presents; The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara, Pearl and Diamond Stars, and this striking Parure of Sapphires, Pearls and Diamonds cosisitng of a Necklace, a Pair of Earrings, a Brooch and a Bracelet, created by Garrard. The Parure had been selected by the late Prince Albert, Prince Consort, not long before his death, as a gift to the bride from her brother, the then Prince of Wales.

In this family portrait, Louis, the Grand Duke of Hesse is seated, surrounded by his family. He wears the uniform of an officer in the Hessian contingent of the Prussian army, decorated with the star of the Garter and the Iron Cross. His wife Alice (the Grand Duchess, Queen Victoria’s second daughter) is seated beside him with Prince Frederick on her lap. Princess Victoria stands to the left and Prince Ernest leans against his mother, holding his hat, and looking out at the viewer.

After Princess Alice’s untimely death in 1878, though some believe that her Sapphire Parure became an heirloom of the Hesse Royal Family, the jewels were actually among the jewels inherited by her elder daughter, Princess Victoria, who wore the Sapphire Necklace for her Wedding to Prince Louis of Battenberg, a first cousin of her father, in 1884. At the same time, her father had secretly married his lover, causing much family disapproval and leading to an annulment within weeks.

Princess Victoria also wore the Sapphire Necklace for a series of portraits, along with a sapphire and diamond tiara she received as a wedding gift. In 1885, Princess Victoria was pictured wearing her mother’s Sapphire Necklace for the Wedding of her aunt, Princess Beatrice, and her brother-in-law, Prince Henry of Battenberg, at Osbourne House.

 In 1914, the First World War broke out when Princess Victoria a trip to visit her sister, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, in Russia, and she left her jewels, likely including the Sapphire Parure, in Russia for safekeeping, where they were lost during the Russian Revolution. However, in 2018, an identical natural pearl, sapphire and diamond tiara/necklace from the 1870s was sold by the 7th Baron Ashburton at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale in Geneva. While estimated at 150,000 — 250,000 CHF, the Necklace/Tiara disappeared from the Sotheby’s catalogue, so whether it was withdrawn for a private sale or was withdrawn, but the sale price is unknown. 

Mountbatten Pearl Star Tiara | Queen Victoria’s Emerald Tiara | Hesse Sapphire Necklace | Hesse Emerald Brooch


Source link