sabato 15 febbraio 2014

Cartier "Style and History" Exhibition in Paris

Today's blog post is about my recent visit to the fabulous Cartier exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, closing tomorrow, 16 February.


As soon as I saw the first photos of the jewels on show, I just knew I had to go and visit, and luckily I was able to arrange a mini-break in Paris earlier this month! Of course, one of the first stops during my visit was the exhibition.

The interior of the Grand Palais, with images of stunning jewels and precious stones projected on the walls and ceiling.
The exhibition featured nearly 700 pieces: jewels, watches, clocks, and everyday objects given a luxe makeover, like picture frames, clutch bags, cigarette holders, inkstands and vanity cases, all encrusted with priceless gems.

From the Cartier Facebook page, a photo of the stunning Flamingo brooch, made for the Duchess of Windsor in 1940 (have a look at the Duchess's lapel to gain an idea of the sheer size of this piece!).
Another piece from the Duchess of Windsor's collection: a bib necklace of amethyst, turquoise and diamond set in yellow gold (1947).
A selection of early-20th century diamond and sapphire sparklers: from top to bottom, a pendant, brooch-pendant and a large stomacher brooch.
Queen Elizabeth of the Belgian's diamond diadem, created by Cartier in 1910 (more info on this particular piece can be found in this post).
One of the tiara display cases - one word: wow!
The official poster for the exhibition, featuring a 1914 diamond, onyx and pearl tiara in a stylized kokoshnik shape (via the Cartier Facebook page, as above).
Ceremonial necklace and choker commissioned in 1925 by Sir Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. The diamonds in the necklace alone weigh a whooping 1000 carats.
A brooch made in 1923 for American heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, incorporating seven 18th-century carved Mogul emeralds.
Marjorie Merriweather Post wearing her emerald brooch in a 1929 portrait by Giulio de Blaas (via Jewels Du Jour).
Pearl, diamond and ruby necklace (can be broken down into a bracelet and a shorter necklace), 1930.
Flower brooch belonging to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, featuring the Williamson diamond, the finest pink diamond ever discovered (and, at 23.60 carats, one of the largest).
The Queen wearing the brooch (via the Daily Mail).
One of the highlights of the exhibition (for me, at least!) was the presence of another stunning piece on loan from the Queen - something in itself very unusual - the delicate, understated Halo tiara, of royal wedding fame!
Via People.
Me and that tiara - definitely one of the highlights of the trip! :)
Then, after a good three hours spent at the exhibition, I emerged starry-eyed but in need of refreshments, and what better place to indulge my sweet tooth than Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées?
The exhibition catalogue and other exhibition-related merchandise are available to buy from the Grand Palais online shop here.

This is a wonderfully informative video from the Cartier official YouTube channel about the exhibition (more options and shorters videos available here).
All photos my own except where otherwise stated.
See you in a few days with another post on my Parisian ramblings! Au revoir!

mercoledì 12 febbraio 2014

A New Outing for the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace

Last night the Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Portrait Gala at London's National Portrait Gallery. While the dress was no surprise for dedicated Kate-followers, as it was a repeat Jenny Packham piece, debuted only a few months ago to the 100 Women in Hedge Fund gala in October last year (and, frankly, even back then I found it a bit...well, meh, lacking that certain something for an evening function!), what really excited me this time was that she had accesorised it with a stunning necklace, on loan from the Queen: the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.

It was the first time the Duchess had worn publicly this particular piece and, yes, it does make a welcome change from seeing her in costume jewelry! Although I, for one, am thrilled to be able to pop to my local Zara and buy the exact same necklace she wore, I'm equally chuffed to see her embracing a different side of her royal role by raiding the Palace jewel vaults, so to speak, and appear in public adorned with some serious, heavyweight bling!
The history of this piece dates back to the time of the Queen's (then Princess Elizabeth's) own wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The Nizam of Hyderabad was the monarch of the historic Indian State of Hyderabad. The last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, reigned from 1911 until the end of British colonial rule in 1948 (below, on the cover of TIME magazine, 22 February 1937).
Wishing to present Princess Elizabeth with a suitable gift on the occasion of her wedding, the Nizam left instructions with Cartier's London branch and the Princess choose a necklace and a tiara, whose design was (aptly) based on an English rose.
The tiara was later broken up: the three main rose motives were detachable and were kept and used as brooches by Her Majesty, while the rest of the stones were used to create what is known as the Queen's Burmese Ruby tiara.
The Queen attending the 2011 edition of the Chelsea Flower Show, wearing the largest rose brooch dismantled from the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara (photo Telegraph)...
...and in Australia, during the royal tour of 1954, wearing the two smaller twin brooches (photo Pinterest).
The Queen wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara and another wedding present, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bandeau necklace, part of the famous Mrs. Greville bequest (photo Pinterest).

The Queen wearing the Burmese Ruby tiara, created using diamonds from the broken up Nizam of Hyderabad necklace (via Mad Hattery!).
The Queen painted by Sir William Dargie in 1954, wearing the necklace and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara (via Pinterest).
The necklace is made up of diamonds in a platinum setting and is currently 38.5 cm long (the chain, which was originally made up of 46 collet diamonds, was shortened at a later date to 38 to better suit the Queen).


A stunning historic Cartier piece, which brings us nicely to my next post, about my recent visit to the Cartier exhibition currently on at the Grand Palais in Paris - stay tuned for updates!
(All photo of the Duchess are taken from the Daily Mail article you can read here).


martedì 11 febbraio 2014

Repli-Kate Reviews

Your comprehensive hub of repli-kates reviews at your fingertips (with the odd Royalty-inspired but non-Kate item thrown in for good measure!).

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