20 April 2017

Tiara Thursday: The Thurn und Taxis Emerald Drop Tiara

Among tiaras that include dangling pendants in their design, pearls are the most popular option for the drop stones. A lucky few tiaras feature articulated diamonds (or, perhaps, a mix). Others, like today's tiara treat, explore the world of colorful pendants.

The Thurn und Taxis Emerald Drop Tiara
The Thurn und Taxis Emerald Drop Tiara takes a diamond framework reminiscent of the Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara in Monaco and pairs it with cabochon emerald drops à la the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara for a combination with maximum impact. The piece was seen among a selection of jewels exhibited by the British jeweler Hancock in Paris in 1866.

The tiara was worn by Margarethe Klementine (1870-1955), who was born an Archduchess of Austria and member of the House of Habsburg and married Albert, 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis, in 1890. Her grand court dress portrait also shows several other emerald and diamond jewels in the Thurn und Taxis collection at the time; the stomacher was also by Hancock. (See Royal Magazin for more.)

The tiara was again showcased by Gloria, wife of Johannes, 10th Prince of Thurn und Taxis. She had a penchant for pairing the magnificent Thurn und Taxis jewels with modern couture and eye-catching hairstyles, creating an over-the-top look that - together with the couple's socialite lifestyle - earned her sobriquets like "Princess TNT" and "the punk princess". When Johannes died in 1990, Gloria buckled down and set about managing the TNT estate and saving it from financial ruin.

Todd Eberle
Those efforts included auctioning some of the landmark pieces of Thurn und Taxis jewelry, including Empress Eugénie's Pearl and Diamond Tiara and some of the other emerald jewels worn by Margarethe above. Even with the sales, a significant collection of jewelry remains with the family and the Emerald Drop Tiara is among the treasures they kept. Both Princess Gloria and her daughter, Elisabeth, wore the tiara in portraits by Todd Eberle for The House of Thurn und Taxis, a stunning book illustrating the family's Schloss St. Emmeram estate. (The book is here at Amazon; you can see Elisabeth in the tiara and some of her mother's vintage couture here along with a gallery of other shots from the book.) It's a stunning tiara, an excellent choice to keep, and - dare I say it?- maybe an even better emerald pendant tiara than the Grand Duchess Vladimir in my eyes.

Does this have a spot on your list of favorite pendant tiaras?