543
543

FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF DON JOSÉ MARÍA DE MARTORELL Y TÉLLEZ GIRÓN, XVIII DUQUE DE PLASENCIA AND HIS WIFE DOÑA MARIA DE LA CONCEPCIÓN

Gem set and diamond brooch, circa 1900
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543

FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF DON JOSÉ MARÍA DE MARTORELL Y TÉLLEZ GIRÓN, XVIII DUQUE DE PLASENCIA AND HIS WIFE DOÑA MARIA DE LA CONCEPCIÓN

Gem set and diamond brooch, circa 1900
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Details & Cataloguing

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

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Geneva

Gem set and diamond brooch, circa 1900
Designed as a butterfly, the head and thorax set with a step-cut sapphire and emerald, and an oval and pear-shaped diamond, the wings set with variously shaped rubies, opals, emeralds and diamonds.
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Provenance

The XVIII Duke de Plasencia and Doña María de la Concepción lived during the very turbulent and politically unstable years of the Spanish Civil War. They first met in Madrid, by chance on the terrace of the Hotel Universal in 1931, where it was love at first sight. Yet the political situation separated them; the Duke was forced to take refuge in the Romanian embassy while Doña María de la Concepción left for San Sebastian in the north of Spain. Only twenty years later did they finally marry, in the famous Chapel of Santiago de Compostela.

This brooch was given by the Duke to Doña María de la Concepción during one of their rare encounters in Biarritz, during their time apart. A symbolic gift, the butterfly’s wings represented freedom from the difficult political situation and was a symbol of their oath and commitment to one another.

Literature

Cf: David Bennett and Daniela Mascetti, Celebrating Jewellery: Exceptional Jewels of the Ninteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2012, pages 19 and 69 for illustrations of this brooch.

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

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Geneva