Diamonds & Bows - Jewellery Stories
One of the most famous diamond bows belonged to Empress Eugenie. If you have been lucky enough to visit the Louvre, you may have seen the dazzling bow brooch Emperor Napoleon III had made for his Empress, Eugenie. Originally created in 1855 after her marriage in 1853 as the buckle of a diamond belt, the Spanish Empress thought it not quite sparkly enough, and had it reset into an even more ornate brooch with the addition of two huge diamond tassels. We think that had she lived in this day and age of memes, she would have gone viral with the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, keep calm and add tassels"!
Eugenie was not just some diamond loving hanger-on of Napoleon III however, she was a powerful, clever and brave woman who showed some serious resilience during her life. She put up with the hoo-haa about her social status which surrounded her love-match to Napoleon, dealt with several miscarriages before eventually giving birth to a healthy son, acted as regent, leading the nation while Napoleon was away leading his army against the Prussians. When her husband was defeated and submitted to the Prussians, and angry crowds mobbed the palace, she escaped with her life, and some of her treasured jewels to England.
Deposed, and lacking resources, the former Empress auctioned many of her regal jewels to private buyers. The 140.5 carat bow brooch was purchased by Mrs William B Astor of New York in 1830. Carolyn Astor was as close to New York royalty as you could get. Perhaps she wore the bow while holding court in her Rhode Island mansion to the elite New York socialite crowd. The diamond bow remained in private hands until 2008, when it was purchased by the Louvre and returned to France.
Today's diamond and bow jewellery may not be quite as elaborate or dramatic as those in the aforementioned stories but there are still lots of beautiful ways to celebrate special moments and milestones with bow signet rings or first little diamonds, including the first "one carrot diamonds" for the Princesses and Empresses in your family stories.
Natural diamonds can also be added to just about any of the custom made pieces in Oh My Giddy Aunt's range, including bangles, rings and lockets. If you have an idea to create something special, please just let us know, we are always happy to help!
03 September 2020
05 June 2017