An archaeological-revival coral and gold Spartan diadem, in the form of a gold band with seven concave discs each set with a cabochon coral, alternating with eight floral motifs each set with a small cabochon coral, all with gold wirework decorations of Etruscan style, made in Naples circa 1840, bearing gold hallmarks N3 with the profile of Parthenope, gross weight 94 grams.
A gorgeous and sumptuous Spartan diadem, made in the mid-nineteenth century in Italy. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, jewellery inspired by the Ancient World became very popular. This diadem is made from bright yellow gold in which is set seven glowing orange cabochon-cut coral stones within carved gold discs. Further gold wirework and smaller coral stones add to the beauty of this piece, which is simple and bold. By family repute, this diadem, purchased in England during the early part of the 20th century, was once owned by Empress Eugénie of France. Winterhalter’s portrait of the Empress in 1864 depicts her wearing a gold diadem similar in design to this one. Eugénie loved jewels and as well as enjoying the sumptuous French crown jewels, she also had an extravagant private collection, the extent of which has never been fully catalogued. After France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, the Empress took refuge in England, where she lived for the rest of her life. She escaped with her personal jewels and sold them off by degrees in order to fund her life in exile; their sale made more necessary after the deaths of both her husband and only son. In 1872 she put 123 jewels up for auction at Christie’s; she also sold pieces privately to dealers, collectors and friends and these transactions were largely undocumented. Therefore, although it cannot be proved conclusively that this diadem belonged to the Empress, it probably did.
An archaeological-revival coral and gold Spartan diadem, in the form of a gold band with seven concave discs each set with a cabochon coral, alternating with eight floral motifs each set with a small cabochon coral, all with gold wirework ...
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