Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tiara Thursday: Grace's Van Cleef & Arpels Tiara

This sparkly delight was made in 1976 by Van Cleef & Arpels and is composed of gold, platinum, and diamonds. Princess Grace wore it once, for the pre-wedding ball celebrating Princess Caroline's first marriage to Philippe Junot in 1978.
It certainly does have a lot of sparkle, and a larger size than I would guess from the solo pictures. You can see it in action in this video, starting around 4:05 (caution: nerdy Albert ahead):
The question of who the tiara belongs to, or has belonged to, is where things get fuzzy (as tends to happen with the Monegasque jewel collection). Some say that Grace purchased it before the wedding, and that Caroline has worn it since as a necklace. This could be it here:
Hard to tell, though, isn't it?

These days, the tiara tours with exhibits. It's been shown with the Grace Kelly Years exhibit, and is now on display at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City with the Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit (through July 4, 2011).
The inclusion in the Set in Style exhibit is what makes me question the tiara's current ownership. In many of the articles about the show, the tiara is noted separately from the pieces that were loaned by Prince Albert. Instead of being listed among the Grimaldi property, it's usually referred to as "a tiara from the Van Cleef & Arpels collection, worn by Princess Grace" or something to that effect, which implies that the piece is currently owned by Van Cleef & Arpels. Time will tell, but obviously we won't be seeing it in Monaco soon since it is currently engaged in the U.S.

(Also: the latest news on the wedding tiara situation, according to my Twitter friend Jeannie, is that ARD from Germany has reported that one of Albert's wedding presents to Charlene will be a new tiara. Said tiara is supposed to have a design reminiscent of waves, be called the Ocean tiara, and is being made by a jeweler in Paris. We shall see! Thanks Jeannie!)

Photos: Van Cleef & Arpels

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