Monday, November 26, 2012

Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 10): Victoria's Turkish Jewels

Queen Victoria in her Court Dress in 1854.
She wears the Turkish Necklace.
Photo Credit: LaModeIllustree
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

As mentioned previously, Victoria’s Turkish Jewels started out as a handful of loose diamonds given to her by the Sultan of Turkey in 1838. Prior to the occasion of her wedding, the Queen sent them along with a Royal Commission to Rundell, Bridge, & Rundell to be fashioned into the stunning jewels you see in the above photo.

Resting at the back of her neck, the  necklace begins with a large round brilliant paved in diamonds. On either side, linked by silver or platinum, rests a medium-sized round brilliant. Descending from these round diamonds are two sets of double-stranded diamond chains separated in the middle by even larger brilliant diamonds.

Queen Victoria, again in her Court dress on May 11, 1854.
In this photo she wears her Turkish earrings.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
These double strands terminate on both sides with a diamond rosette consisting of 9 round brilliant stones, the center stone being slightly larger than the “petal” diamonds. From these rosettes, again symmetrically on either side, a pair of triple-strand diamond chains cascade down the neck, culminating in a larger diamond rosette consisting of one large center stone surrounding by eight petals. Four of these petal diamonds are the same size as the center stone, and they alternate with four slightly smaller diamond petals. It appears that a pear-shaped drop diamond was attached to the central rosette as a pendant.

The current whereabouts of the Turkish Jewels is not known. However, Heinrich Butschal reports in Royal Magazin that the necklace sold for 23,000 pounds at an auction in London “from the collection of his Grace the Duke of Fife,” on July 30, 1970. It is believed that His Grace, Prince Arthur of Connaught, inherited the necklace from his father Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn, who inherited it from his mother, Queen Victoria.

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