Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara

The Cambridge Lover Knot Tiara
Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara 1913 Version

The above picture is the 1913 Version of the Tiara in which the original pearl spikes are removed.

Queen Mary had made in 1914 to her own design and from pearls and diamonds that were already in her possession.

In 1913, Queen Mary commissioned the Crown Jewelers Messrs. Garrard & Co. to construct a tiara based on the design of the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, that was once owned by her maternal grandmother Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel, the Duchess of Cambridge, and subsequently owned by her aunt, Princess Augusta of Cambridge, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

This new lovers knot tiara, also came to be known as the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, because of the resemblance of its design to the original Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, and consisted of 19 arches, and 38 drop-shaped pearls, 19 hanging as pendants and 19 rising up as spikes. The 19 pearls that rose up as spikes could also be dismantled.

Queen Mary wore the new Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, both with and without the pearl spikes, removing and adding the upright pearls, as and when she deemed it fit.

The tiara was given to Diana as a wedding present from the Queen and to this day the tiara is most frequently associated with Diana. After her divorce from Prince Charles in 1995, the tiara was given back to Her Majesty to make sure the tiara was not passed on to any person outside the royal family or sold.

The circlet of the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara is made up of a lower semi-circular band, set with a row of round brilliant-cut diamonds. Nineteen inverted arches arise from the lower band, also set with round brilliant cut diamonds. Where two adjacent arches meet a pillar-like structure is formed that rises up and ends in a large round brilliant-cut diamond, forming a diamond spike. There are nineteen diamond spikes of this nature, and the size of these diamonds decrease gradually from the center towards both ends. A combination of lovers knots and scroll motifs is placed at the upper end of each inverted arch. The center of each lovers knot is occupied by a large round brilliant-cut diamond, from which arises two large drop-shaped pearls, one suspended in the space inside the inverted arch, and the other rising above the surface of the tiara as a spike. There are nineteen arches and nineteen drop-shaped pearls inside the arches, and nineteen drop-shaped pearls rising as spikes, making a total of 38 drop-shaped pearls. The largest drop-shaped pearl is exactly in the central arch of the tiara, with nine drop-shaped pearls gradually decreasing in size occupying the nine arches on either side. The pearl spikes that rise up above the surface of the tiara also follow a similar trend in size and arrangement. Thus the Lovers Knot Tiara is perfectly symmetrical about its median line. The tiara is essentially made of repeated units of the same motif, consisting of the inverted arch, with the lovers knot and the scrolls and the two pearls, the pendant and the spike situated inside the arch.

Elizabeth II
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
wearing the tiara above.

Queen Mary

Queen Mary
wearing the 1913 version of the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, with the pearl spikes removed. 4 of the pearls that were removed are used as pendants on the 4-strand pearl necklace she is wearing.

Queen Mary
With the Pearl spikes

Princess Diana in the Cambridge Lover's Knot

*After the divorce of Princess Diana of Wales and Prince Charles the tiara was given back to the Queen.

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