Monday, 14 October 2013

Monday Marvels: Katharina’s Emerald and Diamond Tiara

This beauty was a gift from Guido Georg Friedrich Erdmann Heinrich Adalbert Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (yes, you read that right; the man had a million names) to his second wife, Katharina. Guido was an interesting character – ridiculously wealthy, German nobleman. His first wife? An infamous French courtesan known as La Païva. When she died, he supposedly had her body embalmed and kept it in his attic.

I suppose Wife #2, Katharina Slepzow, could console herself with the exquisite tiara her husband had commissioned for her. It included 11 pear-shaped drops from a rare Columbian emerald that was believed to have been part of the personal collection of Princess Eugénie, wife of Napoleon. It was the most valuable piece of its kind to appear in auction in the last 30 years, weighing in at over 500 carats and selling for a whopping $12.3 million! 

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