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EMPRESS MARIA FEODOROVNA

Empress Maria Feodorovna: An Imperial portrait diamond demi-parure, possibly Duval, St Petersburg, circa 1790 and earlier
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73

EMPRESS MARIA FEODOROVNA

Empress Maria Feodorovna: An Imperial portrait diamond demi-parure, possibly Duval, St Petersburg, circa 1790 and earlier
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Treasures

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Empress Maria Feodorovna: An Imperial portrait diamond demi-parure, possibly Duval, St Petersburg, circa 1790 and earlier
comprising a pendant centred with a miniature portrait of Grand Duchess, later Empress, Maria Feodorovna, below a table diamond, the bezel and leaf spray frame set with rose-cut diamonds, ribbon tie surmount, pendant loop; and two earrings each centred with a miniature portrait of a young gentleman, possibly her sons, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, later Emperor Alexander I (1777-1825) and Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich (1779-1831) or possibly two of her brothers, each below a table diamond, within diamond-set leaf and ribbon frames, gold hook wires, the mounts silver with gold backs chased with swirling reeds, apparently unmarked
Quantity: 3
the pendant 42 x 23 mm, the earrings 35 x 25 mm
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Provenance

Empress Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828), by whom possibly given to her mother-in-law, Empress Catherine II (1729-1796)

With S.J. Phillips, London

Property from a Private American Collection of Historic Jewels

Literature

Diana Scarisbrick, Portrait Jewels: Opulence & Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs, London, 2011, figs. 335-337, pp. 330-331

Catalogue Note

Maria Feodorovna, born Duchess Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, was passionate about sentimental jewellery.  She commissioned and herself made pieces set with cameos and silhouettes of members of her family, often set with locks of hair, or with acrostic gems spelling their names.  The present lot, luxurious but intimate jewels, must surely have been destined for a close family member, possibly her mother-in-law, Catherine the Great, or possibly her own mother, Duchess Friederike of Württemberg.  Catherine the Great was very keen on portrait diamonds, presenting at least two to her lover Count Grigory Orlov, one in 1764, and the famous 24-carat heart-shaped Tafelstein in 1771.  The latter was later remounted over a miniature of Alexander I in a Gothic-style bracelet and is in the Diamond Fund at the Kremlin Armoury, Moscow. 

Treasures

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London