Regina Florum

Floral Tiara & Necklace With 9.14 ct Diamonds, Jul. Hügler, Vienna Circa 1880 and Later

Regina florum, the queen of flowers - the rose is considered the queen because of its fragrance, beauty and rich symbolism. It therefore seems fitting to choose this flower as the focal point of a diamond tiara and at the same time to honour its wearer. The rose in this diadem is not one of the tea hybrids so common today, as we have only known them since the 19th century. Nor is it a many-petalled centifolia, which was not bred until the 16th century in Holland, or a fragrant Damask rose, which came to us from the Orient by the Crusaders in the 13th century. The rose in focus here, whose large, open leaves, pistils and stamens are faithfully reproduced by diamonds, is a wild rose that has been native to Europe for many centuries and thus belongs to the so-called old roses. We already know these wild roses from the illuminations of medieval manuscripts, including in particular the dog rose (Rosa canina), which for centuries stood for the joys and pains of love through its fragrance and beauty, but also through its thorns. A large old European cut diamond of about 2.00 ct stands in the center of the rose, its petals set with another 5.79 ct of historic cushion cut diamonds (old mine cut). A further 1.35 ct of diamonds set the curved, three dimensional bands that sweep across the base of the tiara to the rose. So in total we see around 9.14 ct of diamonds worked. At the same time, the rose is removable and can be hooked into a pendant by a plug-in mechanism, so it can also be worn around the neck. The original spanner for easy conversion is included. The rose itself was made in the second half of the 19th century, after the discovery of South African diamond mines, which led to the production of magnificent diamond jewellery. The diamond bands also date from this period. However, the circlet itself and the framing of the diamond bands made these antique fragments into a tiara at a later date. The rose was probably previously part of a larger tiara or a magnificent corsage ornament, which was probably divided up as an heirloom. According to the signature, the diadem was made using the antique blossom and the diamond bands by the former Imperial and Royal Viennese court goldsmith At the same time, the rose became a convertible pendant in the house of Hügler, and some of the diamonds in the bands were added, as their modern cuts prove. Hügler continued to supply illustrious customers in the mid-20th century, including Sorayah and the Shah of Persia. Richard Burton also had a brooch designed there, which became a love gift to Liz Taylor. From the family of Hügler's descendants we were able to acquire the tiara with matching case. For a similarly worked flower of the years around 1880, see David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 173, fig. 204.

Jewellery richly set with high-quality diamonds is one of the hallmarks of jewellery from the last third of the 19th century - but this development did not occur for purely stylistic reasons. The discovery of large diamond deposits in South Africa, which made the coveted gemstone more widely available, also played a role. After a farmer's boy had found the large Eureka diamond of 21.25 ct on the banks of the Orange River in 1866, diamonds began to be mined here in open-cast mines. Not surprisingly, a new fashion also emerged as a result of these developments: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to availability as well as to the new electric lighting conditions, replacing the previous more colourful designs. Jewellery in general was increasingly richly set with sparkling gems to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.