Tiara

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Tiara of the duchess of Angouleme (1820). The tiara was made for the French princess Marie-Therese, Duchess of Angouleme, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Evrard e frederic bapst, diadema della duchessa d'anguoleme, smeraldi, diamanti, oro e argento, parigi 1819-20.jpg
Tiara of the duchess of Angoulême (1820). The tiara was made for the French princess Marie-Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

A tiara (from Latin : tiara, from Ancient Greek : τιάρα) is a jeweled head ornament. Its origins date back to ancient Greece and Rome. In the late 18th century, the tiara came into fashion in Europe as a prestigious piece of jewelry to be worn by women at formal occasions. The basic shape of the modern tiara is a (semi-)circle, usually made of silver, gold or platinum, and richly decorated with precious stones, pearls or cameos.

Contents

Tiaras were extremely popular during the late 19th century and were worn at events where the dress code was white tie. After World War I, wearing a tiara gradually fell out of fashion, except for official occasions at a royal court. Interest in tiaras has increased again since the beginning of the 21st century. The word "tiara" is often used interchangeably with the word "diadem".

Description

The basic shape of the modern tiara is a (semi-)circle, usually made of silver, gold or platinum. Tiaras have also been made from tortoiseshell, coral and quartz, and in the 20th century unusual materials such as horn and aluminum were experimented with. [1]

Tiaras are usually richly decorated with precious stones, pearls or cameos, often arranged in symmetrical patterns. Common elements in these patterns are arcs, garlands, circles, stars, and stylised flowers or leaves. Occasionally, flowers, ears of corn, dragonflies or butterflies are depicted more or less 'true to life' by using gemstones in different colours. A tiara can contain hundreds to thousands of gemstones of different sizes and cuts; almost always, tiaras incorporate a large number of diamonds. This puts tiaras among the most expensive and spectacular pieces of jewelry. [1]

Tiaras come in different models, including:

Tiaras are worn on the head, but also around the forehead; this depends on the model of the tiara and the fashion of the day. Wearing a tiara can lead to headaches. To make it more comfortable to wear, a large tiara is often attached to a supporting frame that is cushioned by wrapping it with velvet ribbons.

Some tiaras can be disassembled into elements that can be worn individually as a necklace or brooch. Tiaras are sometimes part of a parure: a matching set of, for example, tiara, necklace, earrings, brooches and bracelets.

Etiquette

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in 'white tie' dress code, with tiara. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in 2015.jpg
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in 'white tie' dress code, with tiara.

It is sometimes thought that only titled women are allowed to wear a tiara; that is not true. Any woman can wear a tiara to events where the dress code 'white tie' applies. On such occasions, women are expected to wear a formal evening gown, preferably one that leaves shoulders and cleavage somewhat exposed, and large, striking jewelry. However, etiquette dictated that tiaras should not be worn if a white tie event took place in a hotel. [1] [2]

Traditionally, young women do not wear a tiara until they are married. On their wedding day, they would wear a tiara owned by their birth family. Once a woman was married, she should only wear tiaras that were owned by her husband's family, or her own personal property. There was an exception for unmarried princesses who were allowed to wear tiaras from the age of eighteen. In the 21st century, these rules are no longer strictly applied. [2]

There are special black tiaras made of jet, onyx, glass or steel to be worn with mourning clothes. For the later stages of mourning (second mourning and half mourning), tiaras with purple stones (amethyst), white stones (diamond and moonstone) or pearls were also considered appropriate. [1]

History

This Fayum mummy portrait shows a woman wearing a golden wreath, c. AD 100-110. Fayum-39.jpg
This Fayum mummy portrait shows a woman wearing a golden wreath, c. AD 100–110.

Pre-18th century

The words tiara and diadem both come from head ornaments worn in ancient time by men and women to denote high status. As Geoffrey Munn notes, "The word 'tiara' is actually Persian in origin—the name first denoted the high-peaked head-dresses of Persian kings, which were encircled by 'diadems' (bands of purple and white decoration). Now, it is used to describe almost every form of decorative head ornament." [1] Ancient Greeks and Romans used gold to make wreath-shaped head ornaments, while the Scythians' resembled a stiff halo that would serve as the inspiration for later Russian kokoshniks. The use of tiaras and diadems declined along with the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity. [1]

From the early Middle Ages onwards, European princesses and queens were known to wear crowns, and brides wore special bridal crowns on their wedding day. In the 17th and 18th centuries, reigning queens began to wear head ornaments to indicate their special status. This custom did not catch on widely, partly because the enormous ladies' hairstyles of the eighteenth century made wearing a tiara difficult. [3]

18th and 19th century

Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden's pearl-and-diamond tiara, made circa 1830 and currently in the museum at Mannheim Palace Diadem of Stephanie de Beauharnais.jpg
Stéphanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden's pearl-and-diamond tiara, made circa 1830 and currently in the museum at Mannheim Palace

In the late 18th century, Neoclassicism gave rise to a revival of tiaras, but this time it was a solely female adornment. Jewelers taking inspiration from Ancient Greece and Rome created new wreaths made from precious gemstones. [3] Napoleon and his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais are credited with popularizing tiaras along with the new Empire style. Napoleon wanted the French court to be the grandest in Europe and gave his wife many parures which included tiaras. A number of tiaras made for Napoleon's first wife Joséphine are still in the possession of European royal houses, such as the Swedish cameo tiara. [1]

In the 19th century, the tiara quickly became popular among royal and noble women as a way of expressing status and attracting attention. The tiara became an essential part of women's attire for court ceremonies, balls, dinners and other gala occasions. Often, a bride received a tiara as a gift from her husband or father on her wedding day.

The height of the tiara's popularity lay between 1890 and 1914. Women from the highest - and richest - social classes often had several tiaras to choose from. Wearing a tiara was no longer something just for the nobility. In the United States, too, tiaras were common at gala occasions, especially in New York upper social circles. [1] [4] Great jewelry houses like Garrard, Fabergé, Chaumet, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels all produced tiaras for their clientele. [2]

In Paris great aigrette balls were organized by aristocratic families who were proud of their name and their past, such as the Duchesse de Gramount with her "Crinoline Ball" and Princess Jacques de Broglie with her "Gemstone Ball" of 1914. In distant New York, Philadelphia an Newport on the other hand, Mrs. William Astor, Mrs. George J. Gould, Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt and Eva (Mrs. Edward) Stotesbury entertained with a degree of magnificence which made European balls appear almost insignificant. The moneyed classes of the United States, who had originally raised themselves above their bourgeois origins through their own hard work, set out to rival the historical aristocracy of Europe. In friendly competition with her rivals, the well-to-do American women refused to forgo any of the attributes sanctioned by society. These accessories included country houses imported from Europe complete with ancestral portraits and furnishings, as well as tiaras order from Cartier's in Paris and later New York.

Cartier By Hans Nadelhoffer

20th and 21st century

Diadem designed by Rene Lalique in Art Nouveau style Cockerel diadem Rene Lalique in Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.jpg
Diadem designed by René Lalique in Art Nouveau style

With the advent of Jugendstil and Art Nouveau, the line between jewellery and art became blurred. Artists such as René Lalique and the British architect and jewellery designer Henry Wilson created artistic tiaras that could not easily be worn in real life.

After the First World War, it became less fashionable to wear a tiara. This was due to social and economic changes (ostentatious display of wealth was considered less acceptable) but also to the fact that women cut their hair short and - after the introduction of shampoo - washed their hair more often. Clean hair is smooth and soft, offering less 'grip' for a tiara. During the Art Deco period between World War I and World War II, tiaras were made using the rigid geometric patterns associated with this style; these were also often designed to be easy to wear with short hair. In the 1960s, the tiara briefly reappeared when the high-cropped beehive hairstyle became popular.

Since the end of the twentieth century, tiaras are worn almosty exclusively at state banquets, royal weddings and coronations. [3] At 'white-tie' occasions a tiara is no longer required. However, tiaras are still being made and some auction houses and jewellers are seeing an increased interest in tiaras since the beginning of the 21st century. [5] [6] Fashion designer Versace made a tiara which was worn by pop star Madonna. [7] The Danish royal family has a tiara on loan that was designed in 2009 for an exhibition of classic and modern tiaras. [8]

Collections

Queen Elizabeth II is said to have the largest and most valuable collection of tiaras in the world, many of which are heirlooms of the British royal family. She is often seen wearing them on state occasions. The Queen inherited many of them, especially from Queen Alexandra. She also inherited a number of tiaras designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. [9] Queen Mary purchased the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara in the 1920s. It consists of numerous interlocking diamond circles. Pearl drops or emeralds can be attached inside the circles. Queen Mary had a tiara made for the Delhi Durbar held in 1911 in India. It is now on loan for wearing by the Duchess of Cornwall, wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a ruby and diamond tiara. A gift of aquamarines she received as a present from the people of Brazil were added to diamonds to make a new tiara. [10] [3]

Other queens, empresses, and princesses regularly wear tiaras at formal evening occasions. The Swedish Royal Family have a collection as do the Danish, the Dutch, and Spanish monarchies. Many of the Danish royal jewels originally came into the collection when Princess Louise of Sweden married the future King Frederick VIII of Denmark. The Romanov dynasty had a collection up until the revolution of 1917. [11] The Iranian royal family also had a large collection of tiaras. Since the Iranian Revolution, they are housed at the National Jewelry Museum in Tehran. [12] [13]

On rare occasions, usually when the actual tiara is exceptionally old and valuable due to its history and gemstones, realistic copies may be made and worn in place of the original due to insurance considerations.

Costume jewellery tiaras

Tiaras made of plastic, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, or any other non-precious material are considered costume jewelry. They are worn by women on special occasions such as homecoming or prom and at their quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) or wedding. They are also worn by the winners of beauty pageants and children dressing up as Disney princesses. [ citation needed ]

Stage and screen

Tiaras are often worn by actresses in film, plays, and television. In 2013, Cartier created a replica of the ruby and diamond tiara they had originally made in 1956 for Princess Grace of Monaco for the film Grace of Monaco , starring Nicole Kidman. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

Jewellery Form of personal adornment

Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks. Jewellery may be attached to the body or the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal such as gold often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials may be used.

Crown jewels Objects of metalwork and jewellery in the regalia of a current or former monarchy

Crown jewels are the objects of metalwork and jewellery in the regalia of a current or former monarchy. They are often used for the coronation of a monarch and a few other ceremonial occasions. A monarch may often be shown wearing them in portraits, as they symbolize the power and continuity of the monarchy. Additions to them may be made, but since medieval times the existing items are typically passed down unchanged as they symbolize the continuity of the monarchy.

Crown Form of headwear, symbolizing the power of a ruler

A crown is a traditional form of head adornment, or hat, worn by monarchs as a symbol of their power and dignity. A crown is often, by extension, a symbol of the monarch's government or items endorsed by it. The word itself is used, particularly in Commonwealth countries, as an abstract name for the monarchy itself, as distinct from the individual who inhabits it. A specific type of crown is employed in heraldry under strict rules. Indeed, some monarchies never had a physical crown, just a heraldic representation, as in the constitutional kingdom of Belgium, where no coronation ever took place; the royal installation is done by a solemn oath in parliament, wearing a military uniform: the King is not acknowledged as by divine right, but assumes the only hereditary public office in the service of the law; so he in turn will swear in all members of "his" federal government.

Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom British royal regalia

The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, originally the Crown Jewels of England, are a collection of royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London which include the coronation regalia and vestments worn by British monarchs.

French Crown Jewels

The French Crown Jewels comprise the crowns, orb, sceptres, diadems and jewels that were symbols of Royal power between 752 and 1825. These were worn by many Kings and Queens of France. The set was finally broken up, with most of it sold off in 1885 by the Third Republic. The surviving French Crown Jewels, principally a set of historic crowns, diadems and parures, are mainly on display in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre, France's premier museum and former royal palace, together with the Regent Diamond, the Sancy Diamond and the 105-carat (21.0 g) Côte-de-Bretagne red spinel, carved into the form of a dragon. In addition, some gemstones and jewels are on display in the Treasury vault of the Mineralogy gallery in the National Museum of Natural History.

Diadem Ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty

A diadem is a type of crown, specifically an ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty.

Iranian National Jewels Collection of crown jewels

The Iranian National Jewels, originally the Iranian Crown Jewels, include elaborate crowns, thirty tiaras, and numerous aigrettes, a dozen bejeweled swords and shields, a number of unset precious gems, numerous plates and other dining services cast in precious metals and encrusted with gems, and several other more unusual items collected or worn by the Persian monarchs from the 16th century and on. The collection is housed at the Treasury of National Jewels, situated inside the Central Bank of Iran on Tehran's Ferdowsi Avenue.

Small Diamond Crown of Queen Victoria

The Small Diamond Crown of Queen Victoria is a miniature imperial and state crown made at the request of Queen Victoria in 1870 to wear over her widow's cap following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. It was perhaps the crown most associated with the queen and is one of the Crown Jewels on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.

Kokoshnik Traditional Russian headdress worn by women

The kokoshnik is a traditional Russian headdress worn by women and girls to accompany the sarafan. The kokoshnik tradition has existed since the 10th century in the ancient Russian city Veliky Novgorod. It spread primarily in the northern regions of Russia and was very popular from 16th to 19th century. It is still to this day an important feature of Russian dance ensembles and folk culture and inspired the Kokoshnik style of architecture.

Regalia of Spain Coat of arms

The Spanish Royal Crown may refer to either the heraldic crown, which does not exist physically, or the crown known as the corona tumular, a physical crown used during Spanish royal proclamation ceremonies since the 18th century. It is never worn by the monarch.

Regalia of Sweden

Sweden's regalia are kept deep in the vaults of the Royal Treasury, underneath the Royal Palace in Stockholm, in a museum that is open to the public. The crowns and coronets have not been worn by Swedish royalty since 1907, but they are still displayed at weddings, christenings and funerals.

Jewels of Elizabeth II Historic collection of royal jewellery

The monarch of the Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, owns a historic collection of jewels – some as monarch and others as a private individual. They are separate from the Gems and Jewels and the coronation and state regalia that make up the Crown Jewels.

House of Bolin

The House of Bolin is one of the oldest firms specialising in jewellery and silverware that remains in the hands of its founding family. The firm exists today as Jewellers and Silversmiths to HM the King of Sweden.

Fengguan Chinese historical hat

Fengguan, also known as phoenix coronet or phoenix hat, is a type of Chinese traditional headgear for women in hanfu. It was worn mainly by noblewomen for ceremonies or official occasions. It is also traditional headgear for brides.

Crown Jewels of the Netherlands

Crown Jewels of the Netherlands is the jewellery used by the Dutch royal family, which is sometimes dubbed "crown jewels". In the past, the terms "House-diamonds", "House-jewels" and "family jewels" have been used. In 1790 the term "Bijoux de la Couronne" was used by Luise of Brunswick -Wolfenbüttel to refer to a large diamond from Borneo. In 1896 the Firm of van Kempen & Begeer wrote about resetting the jewels of the Crown. Queen Juliana gave a selection of her formal jewelry to the new Foundation Regalia of the House of Orange-Nassau, instituted on 27 July 1963. In 1968 a Foundation "Kroongoederen van het Huis van Oranje-Nassau" was instituted. It owns the regalia and the House-jewels.

Jewels of Diana, Princess of Wales Collection of jewels

Diana, Princess of Wales, the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, owned a collection of jewels, both as a member of the British royal family and as a private individual. These were separate from the coronation and state regalia of the Crown Jewels. Most of her jewels were either presents from foreign royalty, on loan from Elizabeth II, wedding presents, purchased by Diana herself, or heirlooms belonging to the Spencer family.

Jewelry of the Swedish royal family

Jewelry of the Swedish Royal Family is the set of ceremonial jewels been owned by members of the Swedish royal family or by the Bernadotte family foundations. The Swedish national regalia, which have a symbolic meaning and are not to be regarded as jewelry, are, on the other hand, owned by the Swedish state.

Jewels! The Glitter of the Russian Court

Jewels! The Glitter of the Russian Court was the second jubileum exhibition in Amsterdam by the Hermitage Amsterdam, focussed on the personal taste for luxury by Russian nobility. The show, which was planned to run from 14 September 2019 to 15 March 2020, suffered from the pandemic and was extended twice, ending finally 16 October 2020.

Tiara of Maria II

The Tiara of Maria II is a jewelled, ornamental crown made for Queen Maria II of Portugal in the 1830s-40s, set in sapphires and diamonds. It is the oldest extant tiara that can be linked to a Portuguese sovereign.

Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire Ceylon sapphire

The Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire is a 478.68 carat Cornflower blue cushion cut Ceylon sapphire. When it was sold at Christie's in 2003, it was the largest sapphire ever offered at auction. It is named for its association with its first owner, Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania.

References

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  3. 1 2 3 4 Munn, Geoffrey (2001). Tiaras: A History of Splendor. England: Antique Collectors' Club Ltd. ISBN   1851493751.
  4. "Jewel History: The Tiara Has Become a Social Need (1907)". The Court Jeweller. January 27, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  5. Treble, Patricia (July 24, 2013). "Rocking the tiara". Macleans University. Retrieved June 6, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Collecting guide: 10 things to know about tiaras | Christie's". www.christies.com. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  7. "Versace tiara to be auctioned for AIDS charity". Rough&Polished. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  8. "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: The Midnight Tiara". The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. November 17, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  9. Champ, Gemma. "Anatomy of a tiara". Sotheby's. Retrieved June 12, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "Aquamarine and diamond tiara". Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  11. "Which Royal Family has the most expensive tiara collection in the world?". Tatler. June 29, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  12. "The Crown Jewels: From Empress Farah of Iran to Queen Mary, the royals who have boasted the best jewellery collections". Tatler. November 3, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  13. "Iran National Jewels Museum". Iran Safar Travel. October 28, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  14. Sowray, Bibby (May 16, 2013). "Cartier recreate Grace Kelly's jewels for Nicole Kidman film Grace of Monaco". Telegraph. Retrieved November 8, 2021.