Christie’s will offer a historic tiara belonging to Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland at its Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May.
The headpiece, which Fabergé made in 1904, was commissioned by Frederick Francis IV, the grand duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as a wedding gift for his bride. The grand duke chose Fabergé on the encouragement of his mother, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, an avid collector. It has a pre-sale estimate of $230,000 to $340,000.
The tiara features nine graduated, pear-shaped aquamarines, and old-, cushion- and rose-cut diamonds, fashioned into forget-me-not flowers tied with ribbon bows, which symbolize true and eternal love. The pierced arrows represent cupid, and are a token of endearment, attraction and affection, Christie’s noted.
The tiara wasn’t ready in time due to a delay in the return of correspondence between the grand duke and Eugène Fabergé, who was designing the piece. The princess instead wore the traditional Hanoverian nuptial crown that had been in her family for more than a century. The grand duke gave her the wedding gift, for which he paid RUB 7,500, at a later date.
The rare jewel will be revealed for the first time in public at the auction curated by Christie.