C. E. Bolin, St. Petersburg 1897-98, apparently unmarked but most likely
“The Russian Sapphire Tiara”. An unique Imperial and Royal Russian sapphire tiara, set with eight oval-cut sapphires, as well as numerous old mine- and single-cut diamonds. Designed with a raised heart-shaped centre and flower buds, over which a horizontal oval-cut sapphire encircled by diamonds, below thirteen oval and vertical scrolling links increasing size from right and left towards the centre part, seven links set with an oval-cut sapphire encircled by diamonds, between which six open links in the form of swirls set with diamonds, among each link a raised flower bud, below a number of diamonds on a curved circlet wound with velvet ribbon, mounted in gold and silver. Apparently no maker's mark. “The Russian Sapphire Tiara” contains sapphires from Ceylon, a total of eight untreated sapphires of approx. 33 carats, as well as diamonds totalling approx. 53 carats. Colour River-Top, Crystal (E-I). Clarity VS-P1. H. 7.5 cm. L. 36 cm. W. inside 12.5 cm.
Certificate no 103271, dated 10 October 2018, from the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF in Basel, Switzerland, is included.
Preview in Copenhagen 21–23 and 30 November.
Preview in London 24–26 November.
Personal viewing by appointment with Martin Hans Borg, tel. +45 8818 1128.
Read more in the illustrated article in our Russian catalogue about the history of “The Russian Sapphire Tiara”, including e.g. the Royal owners, the use and changes through generations, plus Danish sources and Russian archives anno 1898.
Provenance: “The Russian Sapphire Tiara” was originally a wedding gift as a combination piece from Tsar Nikolai II and Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia to the Tsar's relative, Princess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, on the occasion of her wedding with Prince Christian of Denmark on 26 April 1898 in Cannes. Prince Christian was the grandchild of Christian IX of Denmark and the son of Frederick VIII of Denmark. Prince Christian and Princess Alexandrine, therefore, became Crown Prince and Princess after the death of Christian IX in 1906, and after Frederick VIII's death in 1912 they were proclaimed Queen Alexandrine and King Christian X of Denmark. Christian X was King of Denmark until his death in 1947, while Queen Alexandrine survived him by five years. King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine passed on the Russian wedding gift to their daughter-in-law, Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark, on 8 September 1933 at her wedding in Fredensborg Palace chapel to their youngest son, Prince Knud of Denmark. The couple were in 1953 named Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde and Hereditary Prince Knud of Denmark. Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde handed over the ownership of the Russian wedding gift on 3 February 1963 to her son, Prince Christian of Denmark, but retained the right of use. Between 1958 and 1963 Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde had the Russian wedding gift changed to the present form with a firm circlet. On 27 February 1971 Prince Christian of Denmark married Anne Dorte Maltoft-Nielsen in Lyngby Church. The couple was on the occasion named Count and Countess of Rosenborg. Countess Anne Dorte of Rosenborg hereafter shared the right of use of “The Russian Sapphire Tiara“ with her mother-in-law. After the death of Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde in 1995, Count Christian of Rosenborg received ”The Russian Sapphire Tiara", which he subsequently gave as a 50th birthday present on 3 October 1997 to Countess Anne Dorte, who used it until her death in 2014. Hence in the ownership of their three daughters, Josephine of Rosenborg, Camilla of Rosenborg and Feodora of Rosenborg until today.