Friday, February 8, 2013

Italian Royal Jewels: Princess Helene of Orleans' Emerald Necklace

Apart from the Emerald Necklace of Maria Vittoria, the Savoy-Aosta family has another beautiful emerald and diamond necklace. Well, had anyway: at some point it was sold and its present whereabouts are not known.
The second Emerald and Diamond Necklace of Princess Helene of Orleans
The Savoy-Aosta Emerald Necklace was another wedding gift to Princess Helene of Orleans upon her marriage to Prince Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta. The generous present came from Henri d’Orleans, Duc d'Aumale – Helene’s godfather. The two representatives of the House of Orleans were also closely related: Helene’s grandfather, Prince Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orleans, and Henri d’Orleans were brothers.
Princess Helene wearing the Emerald and Diamond Necklace and the matching Diamond  and Emerald Knot Tiara
Henri d’Orleans was an avid collector of Art and his collection of old manuscripts and books was world renowned. He also had quite a few impressive pieces of jewellery and precious stones, including the famous The Grand Conde Diamond (which he later bequeathed, along with most of his collection, to the French Government). It was thus no surprise the Prince gave his goddaughter a truly spectacular present; apart from the necklace, he also gifted Helene a matching Diamond and Emerald Knot Tiara. 

Unfortunately, at some point Helene’s descendants sold this necklace which amounts to a sacrilege as far as I am concerned. I just hope the necklace was not dismantled: it’s really a dazzling piece and deserves a better fate than that.

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