Nassau Sapphire Tiara
The tiara has a leaf-and-berry motive and is decorated at the center with a big blue sapphire in a round cut, set in diamonds. The sapphire can be removed and be worn separately. The diamonds and sapphire are set in gold and silver.
The tiara was made around 1865, and belonged to Grand Duchess Adelaide (1833-1916), born Princess of Anhalt-Dessau, spouse of Grand Duke Adolphe. The tiara belongs to the Nassau “Hause-Schmuck” or collections of jewels that belong to the family and are transferred from generation to generation.
The tiara was also used by Grand Duchess Marie-Anne (1861-1943), born Infanta of Portugal and spouse of Grand Duke William IV. She wore the tiara on several occasions, such as the marriage of her daughter Elisabeth to Prince Louis-Philippe of Turn and Taxis.
The tiara was one of the favourites of Grand Duchess Charlotte (1896-1985), who usually mounted it on a row of diamonds. The tiara was featured in many official portraits of the Grand Duchess throughout her reign.
Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte (1927-2005) used this tiara during several important evenst, such as the 50th anniversary of the European Liberation Day. However, the Grand Duchess consort preferred the tiara that was given to her by the Société Générale upon her marriage to (then) Hereditary Grand Duke Jean in 1953.
The current Grand Duchess consort, Maria Teresa, has a particular preference for this light and elegant tiara. She wore it often when she was still the Hereditary Grand Duchess. It has been seen during the state visit of Portugal to Luxembourg in 2004 (see collage, left), and during the Luxembourg state visit to Sweden in 2008 (see collage, right).
The tiara can be referred to as “Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara” and “Tiara with the Sapphire of the House of Nassau”.
State portrait of Grand Duchess Charlotte (ca. 1919): public domain.
Collages of the tiara (top) and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa by Aimée Durand and used with permission. All rights reserved.