Lot 66

Of an open framework with foliate and scrolling motifs set with emeralds, red stones and pearls. The framework rests on a headband. Accompanied by the original box.

Gross weight: 46.07 grams

The tiara in its present-day form has its roots in the traditions of Greek antiquity, where the first objects used as jewellery were taken from nature. "In the ancient world the victorious were crowned with the laurel wreaths of Apollo and the newly wed with myrtle, sacred to Aphrodite... The women of the ancient world wore all manner of jewellery... Gold wreaths and diadems remained an important part of a Greek woman's parure, but these were generally reserved for more ambitious and showy occasions, just as their gem-set descendants are today... By far the most poetic of the ancient head ornaments, and perhaps the most relevant to the history of the tiara, are the gold wreaths (stephanoi) that took the form of sprays of oak, ivy, laurel, olive and myrtle." (Geoffrey C Munn, Tiaras: A History of Splendour, London: Antique Collectors??? Club, 2001, pp. 15-16)

The tiara was particularly relevant in the 17th and 18th centuries, as a form of royal adornment denoting the wearer's high rank, according to tradition. It soon became a fashionable item to be worn at costume balls and commemorative occasions. For the Delhi Durbar in 1911, Queen Mary had a tiara made from Garrard, the first Crown Jeweller of the British Kingdom, who designed it "as a graduated frieze of lyres and forget-me-not leaves and flowers, emblematic of harmony and love," (Munn, p. 128) with the queen's famous Cambridge emeralds surmounting the dramatic piece.

Through the ages, the tiara has had several stylistic iterations, particularly at the hands of modern designers such as Cartier, Faberge, Boucheron, to name a few, who transformed it into a work of art. At the turn of the 20th century, the tiara witnessed a return to natural forms, coinciding with the Art Nouveau movement prevalent at the time, first seen in the works of Rene Lalique, who was considered the pioneering jeweller of this movement. With the advent of Art Deco, the tiara crossed the royal and aristocratic thresholds and became a popular accessory among flappers. The economic crash that followed saw a decline in jewellery buying among the masses, except for the privileged few who could afford it. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the tiara as a fashion or bridal accessory, and it has been the focal point of many designers' works, from Versace to Vivienne Westwood.

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 66 of 174  

15-16 OCTOBER 2019

$4,290 - 7,145
Rs 3,00,000 - 5,00,000



Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.Email auction@saffronart.com, newyork@saffronart.com, london@saffronart.com, delhi@saffronart.com Tel: (91 22) 2436 4113/ 4333 6200 (Mumbai), (212) 627 5006 (New York), 44 (0) 20 7409 7974 (london), (91 11) 2436 9415 (New Delhi)