russian jewels


At the Russian Court (2/?)  R U S S I A N    I M P E R I A L    W E D D I N G 

It had been a tradition since the 19th century that every brides of the Russian Imperial family would wear the same jewels on their wedding day.

The imperial nuptial jewels consisted of the imperial nuptial crown, created in 1840 by the jewellers Nickol and Plincke, using diamonds set in the great girdle of the time of Catherine the Great. The diamond tiara of the Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna with at his center the Paul I pink diamond. The collier d’esclave, a total weight of 475 old carats, some of the diamonds have a blue or pink tint, producing an enchanting effect. Diamond earrings in the form of cherries that belonged to Catherine the Great. These earrings were so heavy that they had to be supported with wires looped around the top of the ears, as the day wore on, the wire cut into the flesh, causing Alexandra much pain. Her niece Maria recalled on her wedding day :My earrings hurt me so that in the middle of the banquet I took them off and hung them, to the great amusement of the Emperor [Nicholas II], on the edge of the glass of water before me.“  

 And the great clasp of Catherine the Great’s imperial mantle.They also wore a mantle of crimson velvet. Except for the wedding of Alexandra, as a concession to her rank as bride of the emperor, her imperial mantle was of cloth-of-gold, lined and edged with ermine. These robes were so heavy that eight pages - four on each side - and the chamberlain, carrying the hem, had to help carry them; without their assistance, Alexandra could scarely move.
Their hair were swept back and coiled into a bun at the back of their heads, by tradition two ringlets hung down on either side of their faces. 

“These were, first, the diadem of the Empress Catherine, with a pink diamond of extraordinary beauty in the centre and the small crimson velvet crown all covered with diamonds.  Then came the diamond necklace of large stones, the bracelets, and the earrings in the shape of cherries, so heavy that they had to be attached to gold hoops and ringed over the ears. […] Finally, they laid upon my shoulders the crimson mantle of velvet, with cape and edges of ermine, fastened by an immense [diamond] buckle.  Someone helped me to rise.  I was ready.”  Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna

A witness on the wedding of Alexandra recalled : "How beautiful she is! That expression followed her all along her path, and it is true that her appearance was positively magnificent as she stood there in her bridal array of silver cloth… Her unusual height helped her to bear the weight of her dress and set off its splendor in its best light.”  This imposing yet formidable ensemble dazzled everyone and was a formidable mirror of the pomp and splendour of the Russian court.

Sources : The Jewels of the Romanovs : Family and Court by Stefano Papi || The Court of the last Tsar by Greg King.

Hi everyone ! This is my entry for the Character Design Challenge of this month. The subject was “The Tarot”. She is supposed to be the empress, but also looks like the papess x) … as religion was big part in many european empires, it is not that surprising i guess ?


Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough photographes herself in front of a mirror, wearing Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia’s Pearl Kokoshnik Tiara, by Bolin (1921).


The Queen’s Sapphire Brooches

The Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch - Large sapphire surrounded by an intricate setting in gold, and an outer row of 18 round diamonds. Queen Mary purchased this brooch in 1934. After the Russian revolution, Empress Marie Feodorovna gave her jewels to her daughters who later sold many pieces to Mary.

Queen Mary’s Russian Brooch - A square cabochon sapphire and square-cut diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds with two small scrolls. This was a wedding gift from the Empress Marie Feodorovna.

Sapphire and Diamond Grapes Brooch - Left to The Queen by her mother, The Queen Mum. The diamonds are the bunch of grapes and they are tied together by a sapphire cluster bow.

Carrington Sapphire Feather Brooch - The feather is made of diamonds with a sapphire center. A wedding gift from the jewelers, Messrs Carrington and Company Limited in 1947. 

Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch - Set in platinum, the Chrysanthemum’s petals are made of diamonds, the center of the flower is a cluster of sapphires. Given to the Princess Elizabeth by Sir James Laing & Sons Limited and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Limited. Worn often by The Queen, it was one of her first of many gifts of jewelry.

Diamond Girandole Earrings, formely in the collection of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1770s).