The great auction houses have decided to challenge each other with tiaras, crowns and jewels of noble origin. Sotheby’s in Geneva, on 11 May, will offer a magnificent tiara handed down for generations by the Italian royal family as a highlight of the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction. The jewels of the royal houses have a double charm: the one linked to the very nature of the jewels and the historical one, testimony of splendor and power of the past.
The tiara belongs to the House of Savoy, one of the oldest royal families in the world and the one that from 1861 to 1946 was the ruling house of Italy. The jewel is composed of natural pearls and diamonds and, according to Sotheby’s, one of the most important tiaras to have appeared on the market in recent years. The jewel will be offered with an estimate of $ 1-1.5 million. In short, it promises to be an auction steeped in history.
But the dynastic profile is tempered by a surprising (for the auction world) use of technology. To inaugurate the presentation of the tiara on the global market, in fact, Sotheby’s has launched a new Instagram filter, with the aim of making this important historical jewel known to a 21st century audience, more accustomed to shaking images on their smartphones than attending auction sales. The filter can be found on Sotheby’s official Instagram profile (@sothebys) and on the one dedicated to jewels (@SothebysJewels). The filter allows you to virtually try on the tiara and take a picture of yourself while wearing it, against the 3D background of a historic Italian building, the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi in Turin, once among the residences of the House of Savoy.
Tiaras have always been the flagship of great jewelry collections, but in the last decade their popularity has risen to unprecedented levels. These historical pieces are appreciated all over the world, not only for their craftsmanship and the quality of the materials that make them true works of art, but also for their historical and emotional importance: a mix of magnificence and intimacy.
Benoit Repellin, head of the Magnificent Jewels auction at Sotheby’s, Geneva
The history of the tiara is interesting: it dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century and belonged to two royal collections in Europe. It was probably given to Maria Vittoria dal Pozzo as a wedding gift on the occasion of her marriage to Amadeo I of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, then King of Spain (1870-1873) in 1867. The tiara remained in the family for over 150 years and is believed to have been created by Musy Padre e Figli, court jeweler of Turin and one of the oldest goldsmiths in Europe. The jewel is composed of spiral motifs, cushion, circular and single cut diamonds, which frame 11 natural pearls in the shape of a slightly baroque drop. But the jewel was more recently worn as a necklace.