Saturday, February 23, 2013

Focus on... Kent Jewels: Diamond Circles Bandeau

Another jewel to have now departed the Kent collection is this lovely bandeau.
The Diamond "Snake" Bandeau in necklace form with matching earrings
The modern appearance of the bandeau is very deceiving; it's in fact an old family heirloom. The jewel was commissioned in 1890s by Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia who was renown for her fabulous jewellery collection. 

The Grand Duchess isn't known to have worn the piece herself, instead opting to give it to her daughter, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna (known as Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark after her marriage).
Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (born Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia)
When Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark – Princess Nicholas’s daughter – married the Duke of Kent, she received many spectacular gifts from both sides of the family. This bandeau was among the several gifts she received from her mother. 

The bandeau is made in form of diamond snakes (the circles) guarding their eggs (the pearls in the middle). The original piece contained seventeen circles; however at some point two circles were removed and turned into matching earrings. At the same time, the bandeau was made convertible into a necklace. 
Princess Marina wearing the Diamond Bandeau 
Princess Marina wore this jewel only a handful of times; among the more memorable occasions Marina wore this bandeau to was the Silver Wedding Anniversary of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. 

Her daughter, Princess Alexandra of Kent, had a good use of it in her youth though. The delicate yet modern style of the bandeau was perfect for a young Princess. Alexandra appears to be very fond of pearl jewellery so the bandeau fit in nicely with the rest of her (admittedly modest) collection. 
Princess Alexandra wearing the Diamond Bandeau in her youth
Unfortunately, the bandeau (in necklace form with matching earrings) was among the jewels the Kents had to sell to pay for inheritance tax. While not as historically important as some of the other sold jewels, it is nevertheless a lovely piece which, hopefully, wasn't dismantled and remains in someone’s private collection. 

If you are interested in Kent Jewels, you are in luck because we have been covering Kent Jewels the whole week. Why not check out the list of Kent Jewels already covered here (scroll to the end of the post)?

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