Try on this Royal Tiara that’s up for auction

Kim Parker
·2-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's

From Town & Country

On 11 May, an exquisite diamond and pearl tiara that has been passed down through generations of the Italian Royal Family will be the star lot of Sotheby’s ‘Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels’ auction, to be held in Geneva.

Composed of scroll motifs set with cushion, circular and single-cut diamonds, framing 11 drop-shaped natural pearls (a symbol of wealth and status since time immemorial), the diadem is believed to have been created by the Court Jeweller of Turin and will be on sale with an estimate of between £700,00 and £1.1million.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The headpiece dates from the second half of the 19th century and is thought to have been presented to the Italian noblewoman Maria Vittoria Dal Pozzo, the sixth Princess of La Cisterna, on the occasion of her marriage in 1867 to Amadeo I of Savoy, Duke of Aoste, the son of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy.

Established in 1003, the House of Savoy is one of the oldest Royal dynasties in the world and at one point ruled over Sicily, Sardinia, Italy and, briefly, Spain. In 1870, Amedeo was elected of King of Spain in place of the deposed Queen Isabella II, making Maria Vittoria his Queen Consort.

Photo credit: Museo Romantico-Grabado, Comunidad de Madrid, España
Photo credit: Museo Romantico-Grabado, Comunidad de Madrid, España

This important Royal piece comes on sale at a time of unprecedented demand for antique tiaras, fuelled by a growing international appreciation of the jewels as works of art as well as historical artefacts, plus various recent high-profile Royal weddings and the return of chic headpieces in fashion, as seen on the Dolce & Gabbana, Simone Rocha and Givenchy catwalks.

“Tiaras have always been the crowing glory of major jewellery collections but in the past decade, their popularity has soared to unprecedented heights,” says Benoit Repellin, the head of the upcoming Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction. “The tiara we have the privilege to present in Geneva in May encapsulates all the pomp, power and presence associated with Royal jewels, and with an option to be worn as a necklace, the versatility of [this piece] will undoubtedly make it a very covetable piece for many collectors.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

In another first, would-be bidders (indeed, anyone who fancies seeing themselves in a piece of Royal headwear) can now try on the tiara in virtual reality thanks to a new filter created for Sotheby’s, which is available now on Sotheby’s Instagram handle, @Sothebys, and its dedicated jewellery account, @SothebysJewels.

As a final touch, the new filter even comes with a 360-degree background of an Italian Royal palace: the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigni, in Turin – the former hunting lodge for the House of Savoy. Consider it the ultimate opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.