21 November 2013

Tiara Thursday: The Rosenborg Kokoshnik

The Rosenborg Kokoshnik Tiara
Designed in the shape inspired by traditional Russian kokoshnik headdresses, this tiara features a swagged garland of garnets and garnet five-petal flowers, with further leaf ornaments in diamonds and a central bow, all studded with pearls and set in platinum and gold. It comes with a handy extra feature: the top row of diamonds detaches for use as a diamond rivère necklace.
Princess Viggo (left), Countess Ruth (center and right)
The kokoshnik was made by Danish court jeweler Dragsted in the 1930s on the order of Prince Viggo, Count of Rosenborg (1893-1970), a grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. He commissioned it for his American-born wife, Princess Viggo (1895-1966, née Eleanor Green). Prince and Princess Viggo had no children of their own, and the tiara was inherited by Viggo’s sister-in-law Princess Margaretha (1899-1977). Margaretha was a Swedish royal who married Prince Axel of Denmark. The tiara was then used by Countess Ruth of Rosenborg (1924-2010), wife of Margaretha and Axel’s son, Flemming. She wore it for several notable Scandinavian royal events, but following her death, it was offered for sale at a 2012 auction. The estimated value was placed at more than $200,000, but it did not sell.
Left to Right: The necklace that serves as the top row of the tiara, the center of the tiara, and the back
This is such an interesting piece – large yet light from the open design, and with an interesting mix of materials. The use of garnets alone is intriguing; rubies are a more popular option for tiaras, and in fact the stones in this tiara have often been mistaken for that red stone counterpart. I'm not entirely sold on this one myself, since the top seems to be larger than the bottom and that can make it tricky to wear. But while the kokoshnik didn't rank very high in our recent final ultimate collection vote, it still did get a few votes of confidence. So, tell me...

Do you find this one memorable?

Photos: Bukowskis/Corbis/Scanpix