Amethyst necklace/tiara belonging to Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII (1901-1910) The tiara is of foliate garlands decorated with 5 hexagonal amethysts set as swing centers within circular wreaths, alternating with pear-shaped scrolls, set with 13 European-Cut diamonds weighing approx. 8.5 carats, 69 European-Cut diamonds weighing approx. 10 carats, rose-cut diamonds, weighing another 5 carats approx., numerous smaller diamonds, mounted in silver and gold.
Lady Maud Carnegie, Princess Maud (Alexandra Victoria Bertha), Countess of Southesk (1893-1945), née Lady Maud Duff, grand-daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra; wife of Charles Alexander Carnegie, 11th Earl of Southesk (1893) wearing the amethysts necklace and the amethysts tiara (bad retouch) in a formal occasion (left).
It’s not known how Princess Maud came to be in possession of the jewels, because it wasn’t the wedding-gift from her grandmother Queen Alexandra. Perhaps the princess received it from her mother HRH the Princess Royal as part of her inheritance upon the Princess Royal’s death. Queen Alexandra died intestate which means that she had no will. According to James Pope-Hennessy, Queen Mary’s official biographer, the jewels were split up informally amongst her surviving children.
Queen Mary and King George took as their share the jewels which had been given to Queen Alexandra as wedding gifts such as the Prince of Wale’s “Rundell” tiara and parure and significant gifts from civic bodies.
The necklace above, is designed of foliate garlands decorated with 5 hexagonal amethysts set as swing centers within circular wreaths, alternating with pear-shaped scrolls, set with 13 old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 8.50 carats, 69 old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 10.00 carats and numerous smaller old-mine and rose-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.00 carats, mounted in silver and gold, length 17 inches.
The necklace, when supported on a frame, may also be worn as a tiara.
It has a wooden box of octagonal shape stamped on the lid: The Property of Her Majesty The Late Queen Alexandra.
The jewel was purchased from Wartski in 1958 as part of the collection of jewels of Queen Alexandra and auctioned in the years 1988 and 2007(U$ 115’000 4th December ). However, the necklace/tiara was first auctioned on 26 June 1946 at Christies, along with other jewels from the late Countess of Southesk’s collection.
Alexandra of Denmark (1844-1925) was Princess of Wales from 1863 until 1901 after which she became Queen Consort to Edward VII of the United Kingdom and also Empress of India. After the death of her Edward VII in 1910, she became the Queen Mother as both queen and the mother of the reigning monarch George V.