Between 1820 and 1830, as mother of the future king, the duchesse de Berry was at the centre of the court, leading fashion and acting as patron of the arts. She is credited with reviving the flagging ivory carving trade in Dieppe, the sea resort where she loved to spend her summers. She is known to have favoured the fashionable style troubadour and is recorded as giving a magnificent costume ball in 1829 to commemorate Mary, Queen of Scots, where she took the role of Mary Stuart in a gown glittering with a large selection of the French royal diamonds.
The next year, in 1830, Charles X was obliged to abdicate in favour of his elder son, who in turn abdicated in favour of his nephew, Henri d’Artois, comte de Chambord, who ruled as Henri V for a few days before being ousted by his grandfather’s cousin, the duc de Chartres, who seized the throne as Louis Philippe, King of the French.
The Duchesse de Berry was to return from exile in 1832 to lead a short-lived rebellion in an attempt to restore her son as king. This was unsuccessful and she was briefly imprisoned before being allowed to leave France for Sicily with her second husband, Ettore Lucchesi-Palli. It would therefore seem logical that the current necklace was commissioned by her in hope but perhaps never worn.
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