The most BEAUTIFUL tiaras of Russian empresses (PHOTOS)

The imperial family's casket contained many tiaras and tiaras with huge diamonds and emeralds. What happened to them after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution?

This photo shows the Romanovs' treasures found by Bolsheviks and prepared for sale.

The jewelry that members of the Romanov family did not manage to take abroad after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution were sold at auctions by the Bolsheviks, leaving only a few particularly valuable pieces for exhibition at the Diamond Fund. Among them, for example, was Maria Feodorovna's wedding crown from the early 19th century - it was kept in Russia because of its priceless pink diamond.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna in this tiara during her wedding, 1884.

The Romanov tiaras were notable for the fact that, for the most part, they had the shape of a Russian ‘kokoshnik’ (and European monarchs began to make tiaras in their image). They were made to order by jewelry firms Cartier, Bolin and Boucheron. (Read about the fate of some tiaras, which are still kept abroad here.) But, traces of these jewelry pieces are lost.

1. Large diamond tiara

At the opening of the first session of the State Duma in 1906, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna was photographed wearing this very tiara. It was made in the early 1830s for another empress, the wife of Nicholas I, also Alexandra Feodorovna. The jeweler was presumably Gottlieb Ernst Jahn, who was commissioned to remake the pearl tiara of Empress Maria Feodorovna, the mother of Nicholas I.

The tiara was decorated with 113 pearls and dozens of diamonds of different sizes, which decrease from the center to the edge. All subsequent empresses adored this tiara and it is among the crown jewels found by the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s. However, there is no information about the new owners. Most likely, the tiara was sold off in parts after 1922.

2. Russian tiaras (Fringe tiaras)

Maria Feodorovna and her tiara.

Both Alexandra Feodorovna (wife of Nicholas II) and Maria Feodorovna (his mother) had tiaras made of diamond rays in the shape of a ‘kokoshnik’, which could be transformed into a necklace. Such tiaras were often ordered by the Romanov imperial family as a wedding gift for their daughters who married foreign princes.

Alexandra Feodorovna in her tiara.

Both Russian tiaras are shown in the general photo of the Romanovs' jewelry, and it is likely that they were also parted out.

3. Emerald tiara

This tiara was a gift from Nicholas II for his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, made in 1900-1901 by the Bolin jewelry company. The tiara is only part of a large diamond and emerald parure (set). It also includes earrings, two brooches and a necklace. All were done in the Rococo style with bows and arches studded with jewels. In the center of the tiara was a 23-carat emerald. The tiara was sold in the 1920s, the current owners are unknown.

4. Koehli tiara

Alexandra Feodorovna, 1896.

A sapphire tiara with patterns of lilies and cornflowers also belonged to Alexandra Feodorovna and was part of a large parure. It contains 16 large sapphires set in gold, as well as many diamonds. It was made by jeweler Friedrich Koehli in 1894. The entire parure was sold at auctions in the 1920s to unknown buyers.

5. Art Deco tiara

Family photos of the last Romanovs, 1913.

Nicholas II gave this pearl tiara to Alexandra Feodorovna as a wedding gift in 1894 and she wore it for the rest of her life. The decoration was small and very elegant and, most often, Alexandra Feodorovna wore it at family dinners.

The tiara was made by the Boucheron jewelry house in the Art Deco style, which was rare for such jewelry. It consisted of 18 gold flowers with precious stones. What happened to it after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution is unknown.

6. Radiant tiara

This Empire style tiara was made in the early 1800's according to the fashion of the time. The central stone is an 11-carat diamond. The first owner of this decoration was Empress Elizabeth Alexeevna, wife of Alexander I, and the last owner was Alexandra Fedorovna, wife of Nicholas II. The photo of the empress wearing this tiara was taken in 1911. After the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the radiant tiara was sold abroad, where its trace was lost.

7. Pearl tiara

Portrait of Empress Maria Feodorovna by François Flameng, 1894.

Drop-shaped pearls became the main theme for the jewelry set of Maria Feodorovna, wife of Alexander III and mother of Nicholas II, in the 1880s. The set also included a bracelet with a 20-carat sapphire, a necklace and two brooches. It is in this particular parure that Maria Feodorovna is depicted in one of her most famous portraits.

The diamond ornamentation of the tiara resembles the letter ‘M’ - ‘Maria’. The tiara was among the jewelry found by the Bolsheviks and was apparently sold in the 1920s.

8. Large sapphire tiara

Five sapphires and a scattering of diamonds, this tiara was part of the dowry of Alexandra Pavlovna, daughter of Emperor Paul I and Maria Feodorovna. Historians believe that the tiara was made by the Duval brothers, as it resembles another of their Empire style tiaras. Alexandra Pavlovna died in childbirth in 1801 in Vienna and the tiara returned to Russia, passing by inheritance to the Romanovs. Photographs of the empresses wearing this tiara have not survived, but it is present in the catalog of jewelry found by the Bolsheviks, it is present. Its fate is also unknown.

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