What’s doin’ at Sotheby’s London this Tuesday? Firstly this gilt-metal recreation of an ancient Olympian’s achievement. The catalogue describes this chaplet-style tiara as “a series of textured bay leaves with an inner circumference of 540mm.” That’s 21 1/4 inches in case your tape measure doesn’t work in metric. Hold on, we’re off to measure the Hostess’ cranium.
Although the tiara’s make is labelled “circa 1900” this can’t be accurate. Its original owner was born in 1900 and the tiara was made during her debutante travels in Europe. So we’d add–what?–16 years to that date.
This tiara of laurels was commissioned in Italy for Rosemary Crane, heiress of Crane & Company Stationary, the oldest family-owned company in America to this day. Although Rosemary was presented at court in London as a debutante, this was made to wear with a Fortuny velvet cloak for a costume party. [Remember, a tiara was the privilege of married women.]
Sotheby’s estimates the gavel price between $1500 and $2000 USD. [That’s £1000 to £1500 in the Queen’s Sterling.] Then again, we’ll see come Tuesday what the Crane Chaplet Tiara fetches.
tiara update: the Crane Chaplet Tiara sold for $1782 USD (£1250 sterling), including buyer’s premium.