|The Russian Sapphire "Wave" Tiara|
|The Marie Feodorovna portrait and the sketch referenced below, with a detail of the tiara center|
Video: The USGS discusses the discoveryThe tiara in question includes nine large sapphires, each surrounded by arcs of diamonds ending in dangling diamond drops, a design reminiscent of breaking waves in the ocean. Investigation into its provenance produced a sketch that seems to depict the piece. The sketch is reproduced in Tiaras: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey Munn, where it is identified as a study by Nicholas Chevalier of the jewels worn to the 1874 wedding of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia by Marie Feodorovna (née Dagmar of Denmark, 1847-1928), then the Tsarevna, wife of the heir. The same piece may be the diadem depicted in a portrait of her from the same year. (Note: The video above about the discovery briefly mentions the tiara belonging to Marie Alexandrovna instead, though the sketch itself points elsewhere as I’ve mentioned here.) These illustrations indicate that the tiara was originally worn attached to a traditional fabric covered kokoshnik headdress which was topped by what appears to be a diamond rivière.
|The large table of Russian jewels, top; all four jewels discovered in USGS photos, bottom|
Would this nab a spot on your list of favorite sapphire tiaras?
Photos: USGS, USGS video, Wikimedia Commons