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Peridot Parure of Archduchess Isabella of Austria

Happy August!  This week’s tiara comes from Archduchess Isabella of Austria!  It’s her gorgeous Diamond and Peridot Tiara, part of her Peridot Parure.

Archduchess Isabella's Diamond and Peridot Tiara

Archduchess Isabella’s Diamond and Peridot Tiara

This tiara is made with some enormous, apricot-sized, peridots, surrounded by diamonds.  The peridots have a darker green than many we see today, and come closer to an emerald color.  For many years peridots were confused with emeralds, but today we know that they are different gems.  The parure, of which this tiara is a part, was made in the 1820′s by the Hapsburg Imperial Jeweler Kőchert, for the Archduchess Henriette, wife of Archduke Karl of Tuscany.  The parure passed on from Archduke Karl to his nephew and heir, Archduke Friedrich, the husband of Archduchess Isabella.

Archduchess Isabella of Austria in the peridot jewels for her nephew's coronation in 1916

Archduchess Isabella of Austria in the peridot jewels for her nephew’s coronation in 1916

After the Archduchess died, her jewels were auctioned off and purchased by Count Johannes Coudenhove-Kalergi, a Hungarian aristocrat who fled to the US after WWII.  After the death of the Count Johannes’s daughter, Countess Marina Electa von Coudenhove-Kalergi, these jewels showed up for auction again in 2001 after sitting in a California bank vault for over 50 years!  They hired a precious stones expert to appraise the pieces, and it was revealed that these were the jewels Archduchess Isabella wore to the coronation of her nephew, King Karl I, the last King of Hungary, in 1916.

 

The full parure, including the tiara, necklace, earrings, and brooch

The full parure, including the tiara, necklace, earrings, and brooch

 

The earrings were bought by the jewelry firm Fred Leighton during the 2001 auction.  After they were auctioned off, the earrings were reportedly seen on Joan Rivers at the Academy Awards.  Perhaps we will see all of the jewels together again at another spectacular event!

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic Tiara Tuesday!

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