Princess’ Jewelry Up For Auction too

If it isn’t enough that Shirley Temple’s blue sapphire ring, the Queen of Albania’s Coronation tiara and jewels owned by the Duchess of Windsor are all up for bids this month, in May 2016 Christie’s Geneva will feature some of the amazing baubles from Gabriele, Princess zu Leiningen.

Gabrielle was previously married to Prince Karl-Emich zu Leiningen and later to his Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, 49th Imam of the Ismaili, so that flawless, D color diamond ring isn’t surprising.

Your Blog Hostess is not sure why she still retains the title of Princess zu Liningen as her marriage was dissolved in 1998, but it sure works as a selling point for Christie’s.

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Tiara Time! 3 Rose Diamond Tiara

three rose diamond tiara

Hailing from the late 19th century, this Sotheby’s offering had “credit card warning” in flashing neon the second your Blog Hostess came across it. Offering no provenance or manufacturer’s name, Sotheby’s London had priced it between $9,000–$15,000 USD and your Blog Hostess knew she had that much room on a credit card–okay fine, spread over a few credit cards. The temptation was staggering. Not just to own a tiara, but one we wouldn’t be “settling for.”

Mounted in silver and backed in gold, this tiara boasts more cuts than the diamond district. Pear-shaped, oval, rose as well as circular and cushion-cut diamonds mingle together to create the motif of three roses and their greenery. Just like the other credit card alert lot, the Emerald and Diamond Kokoshnik, the Three Roses Tiara boasts our favorite circlet characteristic: en tremblant. close up of the rose centerpiece

The central rose–and possibly the side ones too–is set on coiled springs allowing the diamonds to go all disco ball every time the wearer moves her head. The want of a video is yet another crime against the En Tremblant Community. (Namely us. We don’t hear anyone else kvetching about it…yet.)

Additionally, all three roses pop out to function as clips or brooches. On March 15, 2016, the Three Roses Tiara sold for $21,389; a tag that included the buyers’ premium.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.14.34 PMFor all the mystery surrounding the Three Roses Tiara’s craftsmanship and provenance, we do know one of the roses was worn as a brooch in British fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu’s SS16 show. Moralioglu’s dresses were inspired by the “prairie girls” of 1862.  “The delicacy of the tiara reflects the “wild” floral embroidery “littered across” his SS16 collection, both as beautiful in their delicacy,” expostulates the Sotheby’s website.

Oy vey…gimme a break.

Don’t you just love it when an urbanite from a completely different country uses words like “prairie girls” as if he’s

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.14.56 PM


so on top of it all. It’s like Americans trying to do Cockney rhyming…no, sorry, it’s worse than that. And 1862 specifically? How au courant. Does anyone else here think fashions changed drastically in from 1862 to 1863 in pioneer America? Naturally the settlers in that expanse of amber waves were preoccupied with updating their calico, water source be damned. Come on, Erdem. Think less Sex and the City and more Laura Ingalls Wilder. Certainly, pioneer women were concerned with keeping their children alive and not dying in childbirth than whether their pattern of gingham was so last year.

Either way, the Three Roses Tiara will always feel like the tiara that got away, APR be damned.

tiara for sale…again!

The Three Roses gaveled at just over $15,000 USD and is currently for sale on  Your Blog Hostess inquired about the fee and the vendor replied “$39,500 USD…including shipping and insurance.” What kind of a sap do they take us for? A consumer service, your Blog Hostess will not let you over-pay for your tiara!

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emerald and diamond kokoshnik tiara

circa 1900 kokoshnik tiara

this is yet another tiara SOS! Your Blog Hostess is certain she’s seen this emerald-and-diamond kokoshnik prior to the March 15 auction. If you’ve got the info, please cue us in!

Yet another tiara that came to the block on March 15 was this kokoshnik-style tiara. This gorgeous emerald-and-diamond diadem sported its original fitted case, Carrington & Co. embossed in the leather. It’s not a stretch to assume they were the guys who made it. It is a 20th Century tiara.close-up of the carrington tiara

The open work frame is made of silver and wide-set. It puts your Blog Hostess in mind of the lattice-work trellis she needs to buy to plant spring tomatoes. Suspended in the trellis are not tempting heirloom tomatoes, swinging freely en tremblant, but dangling circular-cut emeralds and diamonds. Even more delicious! No, that’s an understatement. This kind of bling inspires gluttony. Maybe avarice? We don’t recall the 7 Deadly Sins now…it’s Friday for God’s sake!  The frame is accented with circular-cut and rose-cut diamonds.

The circular-cut diamonds weighed in at 3 total carats, the rose-cuts tipped the scales near 1 carat. Sotheby’s calculated a 4-carat total weight for those verdant esmeraldas.

The circular-cut diamonds weighed in at approximately 3 carats, the rose-cut diamonds tipping the scales near 1 carat.  A 4-carat total weight for was approximated by Sotheby’s for the emeralds.

emerald and diamond Carrington tiara

emerald and diamond Carrington tiara

The gavel estimate was £4000 – £6000 ($5700 – $8500 USD) but in the grand tradition for overpaying for tiaras at auction, this tiara with no recorded provence sold for  £10,000 sterling or $14,259 if you’re on our side of the pond. These prices do include the buyers’ premium, an astronomical auction fee.

All we can do now is hope like a moron that it was bought for your green-eyed Blog Hostess!







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Tiara Time! the RV Tiara of Indiana

*cue Simon & Garfunkel’s America. Feel free to hum along*

who says there’s no tiaras to be seen in Indiana?

Whilst on Spring Break these past two weeks, your Blog Hostess thought they’d be no posting, given the lack of Internet and resources at the house on Lake Muskego. As we drove along Route 80 though Indiana, this little treat appeared:

Not bad, huh? So if you’re a fan of royal headgear and your Winnebago needs repair and happen to be in the Elkhart, IN area…

How many of us can check all three of those boxes? As you might have guessed your Blog Hostess only has the first one.


We prefer the billboard to the business’ street sign.

And yes, we know what you’re thinking. Who the hell drives from Connecticut to Wisconsin for Spring Break? Well, we answered that question for you.

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remembering the queen mum

on the anniversary of the beloved dowager queen’s death, let’s revel in the good times past:

 the Duke & Duchess of York 1927.

 mother-and-daughter both hail in new coronation halos, 1937.

 marriage of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon to Prince Albert, Duke of York, April 23, 1923. Lady Elizabeth became the trendiest princess with this “statement” wedding gown.

your blog hostess salutes the beadwork!

wearing the Burmese Ruby Circlet in the Cecil Beaton photo shoot.

as a young Duchess of York in the lotus papyrus tiara.

It was passed on to Princess Margaret, Viscountess Linley and most recently Kate Middleclass, Duchess of Cambridge.

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the Crane Gilt-Metal Chaplet

a gilt metal chaplet tiara in the form of bay leaves

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. 


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drooling dimanches: big 3 necklace


15 march 2016 Sotheby's Fine Jewels Auction lot 309

our excuse for not posting this week

For obvious reasons, we frequently wastes hours ogling the auction house catalogues, trolling for tiaras that are coming to the block. I guess it’s the closest thing that will come to watching porn for your Blog Hostess. No, you sick-minded freaks, your Blog Hostess’ hands are always on the keyboard. Yeesh! Get your heads out of the gutter. We spent hours looking at all of the three hundred-plus lots for the upcoming London Fine Jewels auction, often burbling out loud, “Oh my LORD! Look at this!” Naturally, our “Need-This-Or-I’ll-Die” list is quite immense at this point. Long story short: we were looking at jewelry instead of writing.

For the Sotheby’s London Auction coming up on 15 march 2016, we came across 3 tiaras of no historic provenance and questionable condition [stay tuned] None of them even compared to what We’re calling the “Big Three Necklace.” Get ready to do your best my-jaw-dropped jewelry dance. It features all of the “Big 3” envious gems: emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Note the diamonds tucked in-between the blossoms and leaves.

best necklace ever!

Sotheby’s describes the lot #309 necklace as such:

Set with sapphires, emeralds and rubies carved with foliate designs, accented with brilliant-cut diamonds, length approximately 410mm.

Rubies of dark purplish red, sapphires medium blue, emeralds medium green, each transparent/translucent, surface reaching fissures to some, minor scratches and abrasions consistent with wear. Diamonds bright and lively.

Sapphire, ruby and emerald necklace

Couldn’t you just die! Now you see why we invented a theme day: Drooling Dimanche! And doesn’t it just sound better in French? The delicate, foliate carving reminds us of the Delhi Durbar Parure Brooch the Maharani of Patiala presented to Queen Mary on behalf of all of India in 1911. (See spectacular green object, below right.)durbar delhi brooch, a carved emerald surrounded by diamond

Although not labelled as a satouir, it seems to have the heft to call it so. Sotheby’s estimates it will fetch between £10,000 and £12,ooo ($14-$17,000 USD). There was no mention of the jeweler nor the year this bauble was made.

Call us presumptuous but your Blog Hostess can’t imagine this beauty not fitting in to any girls’ jewelry wheelhouse.

Then again, we’ve been wrong before.

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