Hofdame Note: Thank you to our Baguette Iselen for not one, but two, posts today on unique Spanish orders and jewels!
Pilar González-Quirós doesn’t usually talk about her clients because she’s “loyal and discreet,” according to her own words, but we know some details about her friendship with Queen Sofia. They met more than 25 years ago in the Nuevo Futuro Rastrillo, the charity market Infanta Pilar used to hold every Christmas.
Pilar González-Quirós has always been a modern woman, her father was a very prestigious psychiatrist and her mother was the granddaughter of the Marquis of Santa Cruz de Marcenado. She grew up in Oviedo along with six siblings and was the rebel one: she decided she wanted to study abroad, which was very uncommon for a 20 year-old girl back then, and bought a train ticket without telling her parents. She took Social Graduate studies at the University of Oviedo and later, she enrolled at Paris Catholic University to study design, where she met Pierre Cardin, Pedro Rodríguez and Cristobal Balenciaga. She also participated in the student demonstrations of May 1968.
She started designing jewels immediately and used to wear them herself to attend high society events with her family, her mother’s friends noticed the modern and original pieces, they became her first loyal clientele, and she began making a name for herself selling her designs in Madrid, in a store called Tupí. She opened a new store in 2014 very close to Campoamor theatre in Oviedo and never got married because she broke up with every boyfriend who told her she should stop working.
One of the organizers of Nuevo Futuro market contacted her to collaborate and there’s where Queen Sofia found her jewels, she loved the fact that Pilar used old coins and antique artifacts to design jewels and demanded an appointment for the next day. Queen Sofia’s first purchase was some gold earrings made with old Arab coins she wanted to give to Queen Noor as a present. Noor wore them in 1995 when she came to Oviedo with her husband, King Hussein, awarded with the Prince of Asturias for Concord.
Pilar is retired now and her niece runs the business.
There’re many examples of Queen Sofia wearing the Virgin of Covadonga brooch, it can also be worn as a necklace pendant.
This was made with an old coin!
And these are made of pearls.
Queen Sofia loves the Chinese brooch made with bronze Zhiquian coins and pearls from the 19th century. She also has one with a prehistoric arrowhead set in gold and another one with a Persian seal. This one: