Monday, April 10, 2006

Royal Focus: The Poltimore Tiara

It isn't very often that British royal jewellery goes to auction. The 1987 Sotheby's sale of the Duchess of Windsor's collection could be considered to be the last significant auction. However, in June another sale will be taking place when Christie's International auctions off over 800 items of the late Princess Margaret's jewellery and works of art collection. And if you are the lucky bidder, you could own a memorable piece of royal history.

Amongst the beautiful jewels that Princess Margaret wore in her lifetime, the Poltimore tiara was unquestionably the most striking. She wore it many times throughout her life, but it was most famously worn for her wedding in 1960. The Princess made a stunning bride in her silk organza dress. Unlike other royal wedding dresses it was simple in its design and this simplicity was underlined by the Poltimore tiara.

It is interesting to note that this particular tiara did not come from the royal vaults; but it was acquired specifically for Princess Margaret in 1959. Sold at Sotheby's by the fourth Baron Poltimore's daughter, the Hon. Lady Stucley, it is rumoured to have cost ₤5000.

This neo-classical tiara, was made by Garrard in the 1870's for Florence, the wife of the Second Baron Poltimore, treasurer to Queen Victoria's household. The Diadem features scrolls, leaves and flower clusters and is set on a row of small diamond collets.

The versatile Poltimore can also be worn as a small circlet, necklace and it can be taken apart to form two large corsage brooches. Perfect for those of us who don't have many opportunities to wear tiaras.

© Marilyn Braun 2006

2 comments:

Trudie said...

What a shame that such priceless items of hers should have to be auctioned to pay the taxman. Princess Margaret was one of the most beautiful Princess's on the world stage and also one of the most saddest I'm sure this cannot be the easiest task her children have to do parting with such memories of a wonderful mother.

Marilyn said...

Yes, it is a shame. Some of the items probably have priceless stories behind them.

It's interesting to note that despite Princess Margaret's problems she has been regarded as a successful mother. Unlike her sister's children, both of her children seem well adjusted and they're still married.