Tiara Time: Family Heirlooms to the Big Event! Part I: the Lannoy!

Alright, still missing my dear Otto the kitty and worried sick, but here’s the post I started this morning, hopefully it gets finished. I’m not going to edit the intro, so let’s just pretend it’s seven in the morning when I started, not thirty “LOST KITTY! REWARD!” posters later.

Welcome (me) back, kids! It was a grueling chest-cold of a week but I’m thrilled to see that a week’s absence did nothing to wane interest. (Though I’m guessing that lengthy title might have.)  And a big glittery welcome to the new follow-friends who joined the T and T crew while I was gone! Yeah, I’m taking to you, Kim Koning, thewayofthechiro, and stonebiscuit. Tiaras ahoy! Thanks for the follows!

(All followers remember, as a huge graçias for following me, I do put a link to your blog under “click for glory!” I hope it provides some traffic.)

Stat-analysis-inability aside, I couldn’t help but notice the Saturday following the Royal Nuptials in Luxembourg; my ratings went through the roof, not unlike my dad when I waltzed into the house at age 16 sporting a magnetic nose-ring. (He totally bought it! The flabbergastion was soooo worth it.) Okay, enough with my anecdote and back to what YOU want. Clearly, it must be another tiara out of the Luxembourg milieu. But first, how about a lil’ montage of the happy bride and groom?

Prince Guillaume Countess Stephanie De Lannoy Royal Wedding Luxembourg October 20 2012

(in purest, most irony-free voice) How can they not be the cutest royal couple you’ve ever seen? Seriously! It’s like a commercial for milk and cookies!

Prince Guillaume Countess Sophie royal wedding 10/20/2012

photos courtesy: Socialite life

Let us begin by paraphrasing le Cour Gran Ducale’s rundown of the tiara in question.

For her wedding with HRH Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy wore a family tiara that her sisters and sisters-in-law alike have worn on their wedding days.

Lannoy tiara worn by Comtesse Stéphanie at her Wedding

la Comtesse Stéphanie de Lannoy kept it all in the family when she chose the headgear to anchor that staggering lace!

The Lannoy tiara is packs a wallop with 270 miners-cut diamonds set in platinum. Perched in the center is a pear-shaped diamond, inverted to a lofty exclamation point. (As if one were needed. Isn’t a state wedding of a countess and a hereditary grand duke enough of a ‘!!!!’?) A dozen larger brilliants stand out owing to their closed sets, popping like tight buttons along the patterned, leafy scrolls. A thin line of platinum-gilded pearls underlines the contours of the tiara, tracing the tabulation of the stones.

For such an enormous exclamation point of a centerpiece diamond and 270 others, the tiara itself appear quite dainty and ready-for-flight (bottom left) like one of those balsa-wood gliders we used to buy at this old-timey five-and-dime on Martha’s Vineyard. Conversely, it harmonizes seamlessly with the delicate lace of her veil. (Frankly, I can’t get enough of that antique-hued encaje.)

the countess stephanie chose lace for her wedding veil and the Lannoy got away, HEY!

No, wait, upon closer inspection of the left-hand photo, could it be a blush chroma rather than antique? (So many grey areas! Bad pun! Get on with it and stone me! Worse pun!) But look how delicate it appears once that mid-October wind kicks up! Almost like a tiny Spanish peineta

The tiara was made by Altenloh in Brussels. Ernest Altenloh, son of a silversmith, created the company in 1878. At the beginning of the 20th century, he was joined by Robert Altenloh. (Son? Cousin? Come on Cour! Your syntax is painful and you leave some obvious holes. They have the same last name; if it’s an incredible co-incidence, please say so!)

Robert Altenloh rapidly expanded the jeweller’s reputation to international recogniton  with the quality of its jewels and the intricacy its silverwork. Their shop was originally located on the Rue de la Madeleine close to the Royal Palace (1, Place Royale – now the Magritte Museum), also sold pieces by other designers. Among its clients were the Count and Countess of Flanders (the parents of King Albert I), the Queen of Saxony and the Prince of Ligne. “Supplier* to the Court” under King Albert and Queen Elisabeth, the silversmith and jewelry shop attracted the wealthy Belgian aristocracy and well-off international clientele.

*“Supplier” to the Court is the best you could do? Supplier of what? Parsnips? You can be a silversmith and still bill yourself as a jeweller. Ask Tiffany, Cartier, heck, I think even Harry Winston does it. (Let me look that one up for you though.)

Ah, okay, yes. We misled you. Before We distinctly said “tiara out of the Luxembourg collection” and the Lannoy tiara, by definition, is not of the Luxembourg jewels at all. It belongs to Stéphanie’s family and wearing a family tiara to marry the heir to the throne simply recalls another wedding 31 years ago.

Egads! Still drawing a blank? Hint…25-foot train, the sleeves so poofy that Anne may have turned greener than the gables that became her epitaph? A famous ring that made sapphires fashionable engagement pieces again? Yes, 1981. Lady Diana and the Spencer Tiara. We haven’t done that one yet, have we?

Maybe come Thursday we’ll be having a Tiara Time Twofer. Haven’t decided yet. Then again, we haven’t done any ‘Toinette in over a week either.

Whimsey, you are mine!

Source: Muriel Prieur/Conservateur, Cour grand-ducale

Snark: dauphiine, Blog Hostess/ex-English teacher, Tiaras and Trianon.

About ♔ la dauphiine ♔

Connecticut-based jewelry monger, history buff, Mets fan. On the hum-drum side, call me a lauded poet, novelist and ghost-writer. (That's right, I haunt prose.)
This entry was posted in diamond, luxembourg, tiara time!, weddings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tiara Time: Family Heirlooms to the Big Event! Part I: the Lannoy!

  1. sammiwitch says:

    Sorry to hear about your cat 😦 I hope he returns home soon, and unharmed. Brightest Blessings


  2. He showed up just before dawn this morning. He ate two dishes of food then fell asleep…it was like he just came back from a 2-day music festival or something! But he was so clean for having gone walk-about!

    Thank you for your well-wishes!


  3. I was just about to ask you for the update on your kitty. What fabulous news!! Is he still napping? What a relief. . . Merry Meows, T.


    • thank you for your warm thoughts! I was so happy to have him home I called my parents in NY and apologized for ever making them worry, not calling, being late for curfew, etc.

      Hour & a half ’til M@’s birthday here! (22.28. Cali is still on Daylight Savings for a few more days.) In your plâce, it’s officially THE DAY!

      Any suggestions on how to celebrate? Don’t want to be like any other M@ blogs…

      perhaps a montage extraordinaire?


      • YES. Today is Marie Antoinette’s birthday! I always love watching the big birthday scene in Sofia Coppola’s film. For the love of wigs, sparklers and champagne, I’ve often tried to recreate the scene at my own dinner shindigs! T. (What about creating a party checklist?)


        • I like it! What was the name of the patisserie that did those eye-popping cakes? Wigs, ostrich plumes & open flame! Best to include a warning: keep anachronistic fire extinguisher nearby!


          • Funny! Don’t forget the gambling wheels and playing cards! Regarding the sweets, I found an interview with Sofia. Yes, Ladurée made the macarons and the little cakes. Here’s the quote: “For example, the Ladurée house, which provided each day of macaroons and patisseries. One was all the time surrounded by small cakes. The atmosphere of film, the hues are also largely influenced by it.” (I wasn’t certain about the cakes until I found the interview.) Here’s the link: http://www.fan-de-cinema.com/notes/marie-antoinette.html


            • T, you are a SAINT!…wait a mo…it’s en fraçais! I know I give that impression, but my fluency lies in Spanish! Yes, I can decipher it but text that dense would take me four or five hours. I think I’ll use your handy-dandy translation instead! (Thank you very much for doing so!)

              After this, maybe I’ll pick up Rosetta Stone French and pick up where high school French 2 left off. ;D [If I’m not too busy gambling with pink chips and downing champagne. (First one unlikely, second, highly likely.)


            • Whoops! The message disappeared. I found two more sources.

              I found this one on the imdb movie site: “Ladurée was chosen by Sofia Coppola to make all of the brightly colored pastries and cakes for the film.” Here’s the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0422720/trivia

              Also, I found two lines on the company site: “LADURÉE’s pastel shades have always been inspired by the incomparable style of Queen Marie-Antoinette. It is for this key reason that the company was chosen as the exclusive “pastrymaker” for Sofia Coppola’s film about the Queen.” Here’s the link: http://www.groupeholder.com/va/evenements-marquants-laduree.php


            • AWESOME! You are the best. I’m currently plotting how to trick male guests into 18th century period costuming!

              I should have a photo montage of how difficult it is to keep a ‘Toinette wig atop your head (starring me as the failing wig model!)


            • this checklist is quickly becoming a long how-to in detail! the more I think about it, the more I need bright pink crinoline & champagne! Funny, we were talking about how there’d be no fancy dress parties this year because Halloween was on Wednesday. This would have been perfect. Got a whole year to plan for next year’s 258th I guess.


it's not just a love-affair with my own voice

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