01 October 2015

Tiara Thursday: Princess Shivakiar's Diamond and Pearl Tiara

Princess Shivakiar's Diamond and Pearl Tiara
Princess Shivakiar (1876-1947) was the first wife of King Fuad I of Egypt, a marriage that only lasted for a few years in the late 1890s. She went on to marry four subsequent husbands, and her ex-husband also remarried. Still, it Shivakiar's name that is tied to this platinum, diamond, and pearl tiara, which is said to have been commissioned from a Parisian jeweler by King Fuad.
Shivakiar and Fuad
Cartier is probably the jeweler responsible for this piece, as one can easily guess based on the design similarities between this tiara and several other Cartier designs, particularly the Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara in Spain and the Khedive of Egpyt Tiara now with Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. This Egyptian version paints its swirled design with more than 2,000 diamonds and accents it with pearls and a central briolette stone. (The tiara has been shown, as you can see above and below, with the central element in different positions.)

Video: The tiara and other Egyptian royal jewels
The tiara stayed with the Egyptian royal family, and when the monarchy was abolished in 1953, it was among the jewels held by the government. The above video displaying this tiara and other crown jewels was taken in 1954, when - not unlike the French and Russian governments after getting rid of their respective monarchies - it was said that the Egyptian authorities were prepping the gems for an auction that may never have occurred, at least not in full. Some pieces worn by the Egyptian royals essentially disappeared, and some have turned up in sales years later, but others remained with the government. This is one of those jewels.
The Egyptian government displays the pearl and diamond tiara at the Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria with over 900 other pieces of jewelry. The museum reopened in 2014, having been closed since the 2011 revolution.

Of these similar scrolling Cartier designs, which would you pick?

Photos: British Pathe screencap, RetrieverLove via Wikimedia Commons, via Getty Images