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April 10, 2016 2:37 pm  #1

TBF-QM-84 Queen Mary’s Turquoise Parure

84. Queen Mary’s Turquoise Parure

   In 1850, the Duchess of Teck was presented with two diamond and turquoise bow brooches and a smaller turquoise and diamond bow brooch, with a tassel motif, as a confirmation gift, which she subsequently wore as a debutante.[1]

   As a wedding gift in 1893, Queen Mary received these three brooches from her parents, along with a tiara, which was described by contemporary periodicals as “a splendid tiara of diamonds and turquoise”;[2] the original design for this tiara can be seen illustrated in Munn’s Tiaras,[3] and the gift can be seen illustrated in the Illustrated London News, along with the three brooches and a pair of turquoise stud earrings, set in a scrolling diamond cluster.[4]

   Field argues that included in the original gift to Queen Mary, was “a long chain necklace of twenty-six turquoise and diamond oval clusters”. Queen Mary also acquired a second necklace, with turquoise and diamond clusters with pendant drops, which was worn along with the tiara, in an official photographic sitting taken in the early years of her marriage.[5]

   In 1912, the decision was taken for E. Wolff & Co. to alter the tiara, as Munn argues Queen Mary found “the composition too high”, and the tiara in its current form can be seen illustrated in Munn.[6]

   In turn, Queen Mary presented this parure as a wedding gift to Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, in 1935. The gift included the tiara; the long chain necklace; the cluster earrings; the three bow brooches; two bracelets, consisting of four rows of alternating diamonds and turquoise beads, with clasps consisting of diamond ears-of-wheat motifs set on a turquoise background; a diamond and turquoise gold bangle; and a diamond and turquoise cluster ring.[7]

   Princess Alice wore this parure on numerous occasions, along with the turquoise and diamond pendant necklace, which also passed to her, re-joining the rest of the parure.[8] Princess Alice also altered the earrings of the parure by attaching Queen Mary’s original scrolling cluster earrings “as detachable pendant drops on oval cluster earrings”.[9]

   This parure is now owned and worn by the present Duchess of Gloucester.[10]

1. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 158
2. Bow Bells, 7 July 1893, p. 7
3. Munn, Tiaras, pl. 183
4. Menkes, The Royals Jewels, p. 61; Illustrated London News, 16 July 1893
5. Royal Magazin: Queen Mary’s Turquoise Parure
6. Munn, Tiaras, pl. 182
7. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 158; Royal Magazin: The Gloucester Turquoise Parure  [Accessed 10 June 2012]
8. Munn, Tiaras, pl. 181
9. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 158
10. Menkes, The Royal Jewels, p. 109; Royal Magazin: The Gloucester Turquoise Parure [Accessed 10 June 2012]


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