In Defense of the Tiara – The Musy Tiara

In this mini-series we’ve gone from a little convertible, to a little more convertible, and we are going to end on the most convertible tiara out there (I think…): The Musy Tiara.

The History

This tiara was made in 1904 for Queen Margherita, at that time the Queen Mother of Italy. She had the court jeweler, Musy, create this tiara with gems from her personal collection to celebrate the birth of her grandson, the future King Umberto II.

Margherita was nicknamed the Pearl Queen due to her love of pearls, so it’s no surprise that her new tiara featured these stones. The pearl buttons sit on a scrolled base topped by diamond arches. But it doesn’t stop there, the buttons and arches are all removable.

When Margherita died in 1926, she left the tiara to Umberto, whose birth was the impetus behind it’s creation. Umberto’s new wife, Princess Marie José of Belgium wore the tiara for her wedding day, and managed to keep a hold of the tiara when the monarchy was abolished in 1946.

The tiara now resides with Umberto and Maria José’s son, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, The Prince of Naples, and is worn by his wife, Princess Marina.

Marina wearing the Musy at the Danish wedding in 2004.

The Case for the Tiara

OC: There are enough iterations of this piece that I am all for it. There are some really beautiful shell motifs and scrollwork. I’d love to see what their descendent Prince Dimitri could do with it.

LG: I’m all in for this one. Some of the versions aren’t the best, but there are so many others that you can skip the not great ones. And the full tiara is just breathtaking!

LiL: I like this one. Sure it’s a bit stiff, but I’ll take a tiara with Wonder-Twin Powers any day. “Form of a seashell!” “Shape of a curlycue!”

The Case against the Tiara

The Handbag: I do like the concept of convertibility. I just find all the iterations so intimidating. I don’t see any grace or prettiness here. I think there are possibilities, though, so I’ll give it a soft pass.

What are your thoughts on the Musy Tiara?

In Defense of the Tiara – The Dutch Pearl Button

For our next face off, we’re doing some convertible tiaras. From a little convertible, like today’s to some that have more options than you can count!

Today though we are focusing on a tiara that was converted from a vault fave to a very special wedding tiara: The Dutch Pearl Button.

The original tiara

The History

It is thought that the base of the tiara once belonged to Queen Sophie, but while the design is close, it’s not exact.

The buttons of this tiara started as small brooches that also belonged to Queen Sophie.

However the pieces started life, they came together in 1967 for Princess Margriet to wear for her wedding to Pieter van Vollenhoven.

The tiara also played a part in Queen Beatrix’s inauguration.

It was worn by various members of the Royal Family, through the 80s and 90s, and the base was used to created Máxima Zorreguieta’s wedding tiara. The stars for Máxima’s tiara came from the Royal Vault; they are 10-point diamond stars brooches that once belonged to Queen Emma.

The Case for the Tiara

LG: While the original design of this piece doesn’t “wow” me, it’s a good piece for any Royal Vault: good size, pearls, diamonds, and seems to work on everyone. That said, Max’s version of this one is one of my Top 5 Wedding Tiaras (oh…there’s an idea for a post…). She looked stunning, and managed to take a very standard tiara and make it her own.

The Handbag: I love it, particularly in the star format. I like the space and airyness of it, if you can call something so laden with pearls and diamonds and design airy. It is also a great match to the two major wearers, Oma and Max. Not easy, since both are strong but different personalities.

The Case against the Tiara

OC: This is not my favorite piece in the Dutch vault. I appreciate how it can be changed around and I prefer the star version. That being said, it leaves something to be desired in overall design. Perhaps it is the size of the toppers which require spacing that isn’t appealing to me?

LiL: I don’t know. I like it with the stars, and I like it on darker hair, especially the way Princess Margriet has it styled. But it sort of all falls apart on blondes. So unless it’s earmarked for “Middle A”, I’m going to have to pass.

What are your thoughts on the Dutch Pearl Button Tiara?