Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dutch Royal Jewels: Princess Maxima's "Tutti Frutti" Set

One of the more unusual jewels in Princess Maxima’s collection is her Tutti Frutti set.
Maxima's Tutti Frutti Necklace
The name derives from the famous and very similar looking Cartier necklace created for Daisy Fellowes (a picture and brief description of that jewel is at the end of the article). 

Although the provenance of this necklace is unknown, it is almost certainly not Cartier: similar Cartier creations usually have a far higher price tag, and are generally very well-known.
Maxima wearing both the necklace and bracelet
Princess Maxima’s set consists of a necklace and a bracelet, both of which were a present from Crown Prince Willem-Alexander to his charming wife. Both pieces were bought from Christie’s Amsterdam in 2007, the necklace for about $35,000 and the bracelet for $32,000. 

The necklace or collier is composed of a graduated line of carved emeralds, ruby and sapphire flowers and leaves suspended from a meandering diamond-set seam to the carved flower and diamond clasp. It is 48 cm long. 
The Tutti Frutti Bracelet
Maxima debuted the set for the first time during the 40th birthday celebrations of her husband. Willem-Alexander must be the most perfect husband ever: a gift for his wife on the occasion of his birthday - isn't that just about the sweetest thing ever? Maxima also wore the full set again a year later, during an official visit to Oman in 2009. 

The bracelet is designed as a diamond-set branch with carved ruby, emerald and sapphire buds and flowers. It is only 19.5 cm long. 
Maxima wearing the Tutti Frutti Bracelet on its own during state banquet in Singapore (left) and a Conservation Foundation gala dinner (right)
The Princess sometimes wears the bracelet on its own, without the necklace. For instance, she opted to do just that when attending a gala dinner of the Conservation Foundation in March of 2012, as well as for state banquet in Singapore in January of 2013. 

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the necklace bears an uncanny resemblance to the Tutti Frutty necklace commissioned by Daisy Fellowes in 1936. A famous socialite and fashion icon of her time, Daisy had deliberately outrageous taste and had Cartier create a piece that would be loosely based on Asian ethnic jewellery. The result was a magnificent collier of sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds set in platinum. The necklace was sold after Daisy's death to unknown buyers. 
Daisy Fellowes wearing her Cartier Tutti Frutti Necklace, and a close up of the necklace on the right
A bit off topic, but Daisy Fellowes was truly a fascinating woman. Her first husband was the Prince of Broglie, and her second husband was the Honourable Reginald Fellowes, a cousin of Winston Churchill and the Baron Ramsay. During her lifetime she was a true icon, especially fashion-wise.

Princess Caroline of Monaco wore this necklace for 1994 Monaco Red Cross Ball. It wasn't in her possession though - just a loan from the owner of the time.
Princess Caroline wearing Cartier Tutti Frutti Necklace for Red Cross Ball 1994
I love both necklaces (Maxima's and Daisy's) although if I had to choose, the Cartier Tutti Frutti Necklace would have been an unquestionable winner for me. I think it's just a bit more elegant and I do love everything Cartier. 

Credit and source: Cartier, Christies, RJWMB

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