23 May 2013

Tiara Thursday: The Chaumet Emerald Tiara

The Chaumet Emerald Tiara
It's been a while since we dipped into the expansive vault in Luxembourg for our Thursday discussion, and if there's a piece in there that deserves a discussion...well, this might be it. This is the Chaumet Emerald Tiara, a diadem which is probably better known by another name: the Wonder Woman tiara.
Grand Duchess Charlotte
Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg married Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma in 1919, and the tiara likely entered the Luxembourg vault either at that time or not long after (according to Crown Jewellery and Regalia of the World by René Brus, it was made in 1926 using stones from other jewels in the grand ducal collection). The tiara is set in platinum and was made by Paris jeweler Chaumet. It features one big egg of an emerald right in the center with an Art Deco diamond surround and one particularly large diamond sitting under the emerald. The shape is overwhelmingly triangular, and the piece culminates in a distinctive top point.
Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte (with Grand Duke Jean)
The tiara was worn by Grand Duchess Charlotte, who wore it across her forehead, bandeau-style, as was fashionable at the time the piece was made. It was next passed to Charlotte's daughter-in-law, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
Today, it is worn by Joséphine-Charlotte's daughter-in-law, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. She's worn it several times in conjunction with various other emerald pieces belonging to the family, but I think her success in wearing it has been mixed at best. The pointed top is a tricky thing to style; given the time frame in which it was likely made, it's probably best worn across the forehead as Charlotte wore it - but these days that would be the most Wonder Woman way to go about it! Still, I have an odd affection for this one. It's nowhere near my favorites list, but it's unique and that emerald is staggering, so it can't be completely disregarded.

What say you: Wonder Woman or wonderful? (Or...both?)

Photos: Getty Images/Cour grand-ducale