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Belle Époque Diamond 'Meander' Tiara To Be Auctioned At Bonhams London
The "garland style" tiara is designed as a double diadem that can be detached to form two separate tiaras, one of which is designed to be further converted to form a choker.
By: Diamond World News Service
Sep 8 2018 11:13AM
Reference: 16637  


A Belle Époque Diamond 'Meander' Tiara, designed by Spanish royal jeweller Ansorena and owned by Spanish noblewoman Esperanza Chávarri Aldecoa, Countess of Villagonzalo, wife of Fernando Maldonado Salabert, 8th Count of Villagonzalo, is to be auctioned at Bonhams London later this month.

Dated circa 1900, the tiara is estimated at £80,000-120,000 (Euros 88,000 – 132,000) and has previously been exhibited at the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid.  It has been in the Countess’s family for more than 110 years and is expected to attract global interest given its majestic provenance together with the fact that this will be the first time it will come to auction.

The "garland style" tiara is designed as a double diadem that can be detached to form two separate tiaras, one of which is designed to be further converted to form a choker.

Johann Leibbrandt, Senior Valuer Bonhams Spain, comments: “This tiara is of impeccable workmanship and the elegant Louis XVI design of diamond wreaths and flowers has a lightness and lace-like quality made possible by the technical freedom and innovation of working in platinum, a metal that is as light as it is strong. Jewellers only began to understand how truly to exploit platinum from around 1900, so it is particularly interesting that this tiara is noted in Ansorena's archives as being conceived as early as 1890.”

The Countess was a lady-in-waiting of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen Consort of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Queen Victoria Eugenie also owned splendid jewels by Ansorena and her famous diamond fleur-de-lys tiara is today one of the central pieces in the Spanish Crown Jewels.

The photograph (below), dated circa 1920, shows the Countess in her gala costume at the Royal Palace in Madrid wearing the tiara modishly low over her brow in the manner of an Art Deco bandeau.

One of the descendants from the Countess of Villagonzalo’s family comments: “This tiara was much loved by the Countess and was worn at the many important royal and glamorous events she attended both in Europe and further afield.  It has been greatly admired over the years due to its exceptionally fine craftsmanship.  We feel now is the right time for it to start its next chapter and be as enjoyed and appreciated by others as it has been by our family.”

Bonhams is anticipating the tiara will attract a lot of interest from its discerning client base and will be previewing it globally in its salerooms in Hong Kong, Geneva, New York and finally in London just before its sale which takes place on September 26th.

Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions annually. 


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