Wednesday, 20 July 2011

My latest find - a rare antique tiara...

Just imagine the life this piece has seen.  The balls it has been to, the champagne, the laughter, the happiness; the generations of women who have worn it - mothers, sisters, daughters and grandchildren - brides, belles and friends.  

This is a true vintage rarity, so rare I've never handled one before.   Late Victorian to Edwardian, it's a high quality 'half' tiara' typical of the period - fixed on by loops and a cord or ribbon tie which is surprisingly comfortable to wear (trust me, I've couldn't resist....); I suspect the cord which is currently on the tiara is not original but I can't swear to that, so I plan to change it with hand-dyed silk ribbons.

All the faceted glass 'paste' stones are silver backed to give a beautiful though tasteful glitter, each one is claw set; the frame is most likely brass with a sterling silver overlay, some of which has come away over time in line with its age - which to me, was one of the most touching things about it as it shows it has been worn and loved.

This type of piece fell out of favour and fashion and many were destroyed, lost, their history forgotten; it is sad to think in over 20 years of collecting, this is the only one I have ever handled, they are that rare.  

Even more lovely, it still has its original blue velveteen box - the inside is specially shaped to keep it protected, and the two together are incredibly precious.    I have of course acquired it for my TiaraOnline website in the hope at some point that a bride will want to create another memory whilst wearing this piece.  In the meantime, I'm happy to have it with me, however briefly.  

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