07 July 2016

Tiara Thursday: The 1937 Cartier Aquamarine Tiara

The 1937 Cartier Aquamarine Tiara
Today's tiara was created by Cartier in 1937, just one of 27 tiaras made by the famed house that year. The reason for the tiara boom? The approaching coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, at which many of those Cartier diadems were to be worn.

Cartier London designed this Art Deco tiara using round old-cut diamonds and a variety of oval and fancy-cut aquamarine stones set in platinum. It's a very geometric piece, with a solid double row of stones at the base and a series of upright motifs set at a slight angle from the base. The tiara is now back in Cartier's collection of historic pieces, and is occasionally shown in exhibitions and publications. And even occasionally modeled, as it was by actress Monica Bellucci in a photoshoot.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth did not commission this tiara, but they were frequent customers of Cartier and two of the tiaras the King gave to his wife share design similarities with the 1937 aquamarine tiara: the Cartier Halo Tiara and the Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara, also by Cartier. The solid base and slightly angled upright elements recall the Art Deco design of the Halo Tiara, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day; the Halo Tiara was made in 1936.
The Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara, now in the Princess Royal's collection, shares with the 1937 diadem an unusual commitment to the aquamarine stone. Whereas many colored stone tiaras use their colorful stones as accents to primarily diamond designs, both of these Cartier tiaras are mainly composed of aquamarine stones with diamonds as accents. It's a unique look, and one I can't help but think would have stood out in lovely fashion against the sea of diamonds tiaras sure to be found at that British coronation.

Too much aquamarine for you, or just right?

Photos: Cartier, Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II, The Princess Royal