Tiara Time! Amethysts Ahoy!

Well, somebody’s birthday is coming up on Tuesday and it’s come to Our attention that never have We discussed an amethyst anything, much less a tiara. To honor of February’s birthstone there’s only one thing to do: another theme week! Amethysts ahoy indeed! (We’re gonna need an army of thesauri for ‘purple’ synonyms.)

the Hohenlohe-Langenburg tiara

Hohenlohe-Langenburg tiara

For those of us whose faces don’t immediately light up with recognition when we hear the name Hohenlohe-Langenburg, don’t panic, you’re not alone. I’m guessing most Americans haven’t heard of the German princely house of Hohenlohe, much less not-warrior Princess Xenia (pictured below) or the cadet branch of the family to whom this amethyst corona belongs.

Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe

Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe borrowed her cousins’ tiara.

I think this seldom-seen tiara is pretty underrated, it’s a really gorgeous example of stone-setting with its blossoms, berries and leaves. I wish there was more–nay any–information about this tiara out there, alas the Internet has a finite amount of information, especially on the subject of sparkly headgear.

The marques of Tavistock Tiara

marquess of tavistock tiaraApparently made around 1870, this tiara’s amethysts adhere to the more traditional hue of deep purple. (I would have thought Hohelohe-Langenberg number was set with pink quartz or pink sapphires based on their color but who am I, a geologist?)  The diamonds framing these spectacular stones are curling grape vine leaves…no grapes though. You’d think the fabulous fruit that provides wine would get its due in gemstones one of these days. Grapes, don’t despair, you have earned it. Hmmm…that puts me of the mind for a glass of that Ribera del Duero. It is after noon on a Sunday; that’s like after 5 on a weekday.

marquess of tavistock tiara detail

oooh…          grape-viney!


Okay, before you pin your Blog Hostess as a drunk (oenophile! different!), let’s get back to the theme week and the above tiara, whose amethysts are the shade of a nice Malbec. The moniker seems odd considering that the tiara is owned by the Duke of Bedford. Technically it’s named after the dukes’s first son, who by the rules of honorifics is allowed to use his father’s second-highest title (the Marquess of Tavistock) as a courtesy. That’s a mind-bender of a rule, as technically that makes both father and son the marquess, the younger of whom will one day be the duke as well. A titular doppelgänger, so to speak. If the first son will become duke, why not let the second son be a marquess? At least name the freaking tiara after a daughter! Why do the second sons and daughters always get low-balled? Well, now We’re getting into the plot of Downton Abbey, so before We start to ramble on about wine and women’s equality, Blog Hostess 

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 amethyst, england, germanic princely states, tiara time! and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Tiara Time! Amethysts Ahoy!

  1. Titanic Buff says:

    It’s a lovely piece. I like how it looks in the first two pictures though, the purplish color is like a lavender.

    Please forgive my “thickheadedness” when I ask, is the tiara in pictures #1 and #2 the same as the one in #3 and #4. I’ve spent the last 10 minutes studying the pictures and decided it was finally time to ask! 😆


  2. Angelyn says:

    The Hohenlohe family once served the Margrave of Brandenburg–Albert the Bear. Hmmm.


  3. Morrighan says:

    hi there, i have nominated you for the blog of the year award! http://wp.me/p2GxHb-1Lf


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