Yes, it’s been a billion years since we’ve had a tiara time and, yes, our coverage of Danish tiaras has been, well, weak is a nice way to put it. [A quick look at the Crown Jewel Index will confirm this.] Allow us to remedy this by adding a third tiara to the list: the Midnight Tiara.
Just as we have added a third tiara to our “Denmark” category, the Midnight Tiara was the third Princess Mary added to her tiara wardrobe. [Yes, tiara wardrobe.] Most tiara bloggers aren’t fans of this one. We’ll let you form your own opinion.The tiara is yet another wreath-type, it’s frame composed of leaves and branches crafted from rose gold, white gold and black oxidized silver. (Is it just regular silver and black because it has oxidized?) Nestled into these branches of unconventional metals are 31 “floral buds” which really look like mistletoe or juniper berries to us. Whichever fruiting sprout they may be, the little bastards are comprised of 1300 tiny diamonds and polished cabochon moonstones. *drool. Your Blog Hostess just adores moonstones. See right. For the moonstones, not the drool.* Now we’d be the first to object to the combination of rose gold and moonstones but they come together just perfectly, don’t they? The entire piece changes hue depending on the lighting or the dress Mary’s got on. It’s a freaking mobile disco…but the good kind.The strange combination of metals and varying sizes of the stones play between the light and the shade creating what is intended to recall the midnight sky, although it reminds us more of dusk…dusk in autumn. [Always with an opinion, us!] Another thing we’ve found: it is impossible to resist giving this tiara nicknames.
This tiara was created for a 2009 exhibit ominously styled “The Tiara – Queen of Jewels, Jewel of Queens” at the Amalienborg Royal Palace Museum. The Dead-of-Night Diadem *nice* was designed by Charlotte Lynggaard of the Lynggaard firm. Ole Lynggaard is one of the official jewellers to the Danish court. The Small Hours Circlet [wobbles hand side to side] was assembled by goldsmiths in the company’s studio. Most importantly, the Bewitching Hour Chaplet is merely one item featured in Lynggaard’s entire Midnight collection.
charlotte’s inspirationThe Tiaras and Trianon PSA for the day: beware the message boards. Yes, they are replete with photos and that comes in so hands yet some of their theories can be a bit outlandish. One one such board the Midnight Tiara’s striking resemblance to the head dress of the Grand Druid of Brittany was pointed out thus inspiring one of the members to actually contact Ms. Lynggaard (far left) and ask if she ripped it off! Charlotte replied that she has never seen on image of the Grand Druid nor his headgear. (See older fellow on top there.) Given the leafy branches and berries motif, nature was clearly the inspiration, specifically the leaves in her garden. She wanted this tiara to have a fairytale feel like “something never seen before.” The diadem was very much intended to recall a chaplet, “something you wear in the moonlight in the middle of the night.” Another muse for Charlotte was the Swedish illustrator John Bauer (1882-1918) whose work coincided with the Celtic revival, both used the Art Nouveau style prominently. There’s nothing more Celtic than a fair maiden flitting around a moon-dappled forest glen, head encircled by a crown of leaves and berries to honor the earth and her gods.
Taking this into account, it makes perfect sense that the Midnight Tiara and the Grand Druid’s Headdress would bear likeness. At the heart of their [inspiration] are the core Druid/Celtic belief system not to mention ceremonial dress. Besides, this isn’t the first time in the history of art that two individuals have come up with very similar pieces, regardless of the medium.
The Midnight Tiara cast its enchantment upon Crown Princess Mary at the Amalienborg exhibition. Mary had Prince Henrik’s 75th Birthday festivities coming up in June and a meager two tiara collection. In a strike of amazing fortune, Mary didn’t have to purchase the pricey diadem. She and Ole Lynggaard have a loan agreement all of us can envy. [If you don’t for the love of God contact me immediately and explain! You may need Tiara CPR!]
The Crown Princess has exclusive rights to borrow the tiara and the jeweler keeps ownership of it. It’s great press for Lynggaard [we went to his website and checked out the rest of the collection!] and really, who’s got $275,000 to drop on a tiara with no historic origins to write home about? A brand new tiara made of silver for 1.5 million kronor? Well, if it’s in kronor…Princess Mary rounded out her jewels with Midnight earrings and a brooch for Prince Henrik’s 75th. [We haven’t looked at the collection yet. Could there be hairpins?!] She also wore it to Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday in April 2010. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s not everyone’s favorite tiara, but Mary selected the Midnight again on June 8, 2013 for Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s wedding. (Below and above right.)
Many suggested the Ruby Parure would have done better with this outfit. I think with all that lace going on, it would have been too busy.
What do you think, kids? Is it as fugly as everyone else complains? Or are you like your Blog Hostess, who kinda digs the pagan themes and the psychedelic way it turns color?