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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM
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Pre-Napoleonic Tiaras

I recently came across a coral tiara of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies family that dates to the 17th Century (LINK). Aside from this, the oldest tiaras I know of all date to the Napoleonic Era. Since there are many people here knowledgeable about jewel history, I thought I would ask: Are there any other Pre-Napoleonic tiaras in existence? How popular were they before the 19th Century?
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:30 AM
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The large Swedish Braganza diamond tiara is pre-Napoleonic. Certain alterations were made to it later, but in essence it dates back to the late 18th century and is therefore one of the oldest tiaras in the royal collections today:

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Old 04-06-2012, 05:57 AM
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I didn't realize the Braganza was that old. Thanks
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyalMess View Post
I didn't realize the Braganza was that old. Thanks

Here is more information about Swedish Braganza Tiara

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: The Braganza Tiara
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:29 AM
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Already the ancient monarchies (Persia, India, Egypt etc.) knew tiaras. The German word for it (Diadem) comes from the Greek diadema and means a headbad used as decoration and sign of high position in society. Made from laurel, it because the sign of the victor. Later, after the citizens of Rome accepted that their emperor was above them and not longer the primus inter pares, the first amoung equals, the emperor himself and his family began wearing tiaras which were more and more formed as a combination of headband and crown.

In the dark ages between the end of the Roman empires and the Middle Ages, tiaras became fewer but I seem to recall I saw some headbands in a collection of celtic jewellery found in Germany.

The Renaissance with the huge interest in all things ancient brought them back into fashion, but it needed the immense interest of Napoleonic times in all things Egyptian and the art of jewellery making meanwhile developped to produce those tiaras who still are deemed worthy of keeping and wearing.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:54 PM
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Here is a picture of Marie Antoinette's sapphire set with a tiara, now in the Louvre: File:FrenchCrownJewelsLouvre-2.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One reason why there are few, if any, tiaras worn after the fall of the Roman Empire to somewhere around the end of the 16th century probably is that married women were expected to cover their hair and wore some kind of headdress, which would make it difficult to wear a tiara as we know them, look for example at pictures of the wives of Henry VIII. The headdresses for royal ladies were often covered with jewels and didn't really need anything extra. It was first when women began to wear their hair uncovered that tiaras and other hair jewelry became interesting to wear again.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:28 PM
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Here is more information about Swedish Braganza Tiara

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: The Braganza Tiara
It is really amazing how little is known about that tiara. If that tiara existed in the XVIII century, it must have been made around that time (the first diamond was discovered in Brazil in 1714). Who did that tiara belong to when it was first made? I have never seen any paintings of any of Portuguese Queens or the first Brazilian Empress (first wife of D. Pedro I of Brazil and D. Pedro IV of Portugal who gave it to D. Amélia, his second wife) wearing it. I wish I knew what is the source of this information. I supposed the diamonds had been collected during the XVIII century by the Portuguese Crown, then brought back to Brazil when D. Maria and her son D. João ran away from Napoleon. Then, when D. Pedro I was was having problems in finding a "first class royal Lady" to be his second wife, had it mounted to impress royalies around Europe or when he felt in love with D.Amelia. Or maybe this tiara was mounted only when D. Pedro I abdicated his throne in Brazil and went to help his daughter stick to the Portuguese Throne. He could have carried the diamonds back to Europe.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:39 PM
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The book by Göran Alm about the Bernadotte jewelry collection offers a very detailed account about the Braganza tiara.
Before a jewelry exhibition on the occasion of the present King's marriage in 1976, several pieces, among them the Braganza, were closely examined, also by scientific means which determine the age of stones and settings. Alm is very specific about the results and the fact that the tiara dates back to the late 18th century, before Empress Amalia.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:53 PM
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I would never have imagined Carlota Joaquina letting this gourgeous piece go! lol
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:53 PM
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Here is a picture of Marie Antoinette's sapphire set with a tiara, now in the Louvre: File:FrenchCrownJewelsLouvre-2.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But the Royal Magazine lists that tiara as originating with Empress Josephine.

Quote:
One reason why there are few, if any, tiaras worn after the fall of the Roman Empire to somewhere around the end of the 16th century probably is that married women were expected to cover their hair and wore some kind of headdress, which would make it difficult to wear a tiara as we know them, look for example at pictures of the wives of Henry VIII. The headdresses for royal ladies were often covered with jewels and didn't really need anything extra. It was first when women began to wear their hair uncovered that tiaras and other hair jewelry became interesting to wear again.
Thanks for the info
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:27 PM
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But the Royal Magazine lists that tiara as originating with Empress Josephine.
The origins of the Diamond and Sapphire Parure are shrouded in mystery; it might have belonged to Marie Antoinette, Empress Josephine, or even both.
The first factual record of the parure can be found in a letter by King Louis-Philippe (Duke of Orleans at the time) to Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland - the owner of the set at the time. The parure was purchased for Queen Marie-Amelie of France who then divided the set among her grandchildren upon their marriages. In 1985, the parure was sold to the Louvre. The most widely accepted theory is that Queen Hortense did indeed acquire the jewellery from Empress Josephine; however, Orleans family tradition maintains they belonged to Marie Antoinette once. You can read more about the set on Louvre's official webstie.

There is a similar, Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl Parure that also belonged to Queen Marie-Amelie. It was designed and executed for her after her husband Louis Philippe ascended the throne of France following the July revolution of 1830.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:32 AM
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I would never have imagined Carlota Joaquina letting this gourgeous piece go! lol
As you appear to be very familiar with the Imperial House of Brazil, I have a question:
Would you know why the Braganza tiara was originally referred to as 'coronation tiara' by Queen Josefina and the Bernadotte family?
Since the tiara has no connection to any coronation in Sweden, the label should most probably derive from the Brazilian Imperial Family, but I don't know if there's any reliable information about a tradition of Brazilian Empresses (or only Amalia?) using it for their coronation.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:41 PM
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In all paintings on Brazilian coronations I have seen, nor Carlota Joaquina, neither Leopoldina were presented wearing an important tiara (mostly strings of pearls or diamonds plus ostriches) or crown. Howerer, there is a picture of Empress Leopoldina (first wife of D. Pedro I) with a huge tiara (maybe the Bragança one?) and its information says they were visiting ther "Roda dos Expostos" where single mothers left their babies to be raised in convents. Let's see if I can post here.

Click image for larger version

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When D. Pedro I married Amélia, he was already emperor so she wasn't crowned. In a painting depicting their wedding, she wasn't wearing anything remarkable on her hair. However, there is a picture of Amélia with a small crown.


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Anyway, I am no expert at all about Portuguese and Brazilian coronations (so far as I know what really counted was "acclamation" by the people and after that the kings / emperor did not usually (if ever again) wear their crowns. I also have no knowledge of consort crowns, except of that little crown of Amélia.


In 2010 there was an exposition on Amélia in Munich - see the folder here http://www.stmf.bayern.de/ueber_uns/...ltblatt_pt.pdf
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:21 PM
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Thanks a lot, cmbruno!
Regarding the label 'coronation tiara', I guess it must be remembered that within the royal families, jewels are frequently given names referring to their own associations and not to the historical truth - the Connaught tiara of CP Margaret for example is also still called 'Sibylla's tiara' although it wasn't made for her, of course. Perhaps 'coronation tiara' simply refers to the large size of the piece.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:44 PM
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Boris, I have just received some very important information about the Bragança tira's origin. Please have a look at what I have posted on the Portugal and Bragança Royal Jewels Portugal and Bragança Royal Jewels
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:38 AM
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The large Swedish Braganza diamond tiara is pre-Napoleonic. Certain alterations were made to it later, but in essence it dates back to the late 18th century and is therefore one of the oldest tiaras in the royal collections today:

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Thanks for that link, that's great.
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