09 January 2013

The Delhi Carved Emerald Brooch

The Delhi Carved Emerald Brooch
This large emerald hexagon is carved on the front and back (a rose in front, a plant in back), set in silver and gold, and surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds. Queen Mary was given this brooch by the Ladies of India at the Delhi Durbar, the coronation celebrations of George V and Mary in India in 1911.
Queen Mary
Combined with her Cambridge emeralds, Queen Mary had a magnificent set of emeralds that she wore often. As we know, she was a big fan of playing with her jewels and trying out different configurations. Accordingly, this gem took a turn as the centerpiece of a diamond bandeau tiara (Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Bandeau, possibly, though she had other diamond bandeau options) for a night out:
Queen Mary
The brooch passed to Queen Elizabeth on Queen Mary's death in 1953, but of course we've only seen her use it in traditional brooch fashion to date.
The Queen didn't use this brooch much (if at all) for a long time after she inherited it. Really only in the past few years have we had the opportunity to see the unusual piece in use, and I find that understandable: you usually can't tell if a brooch is extra heavy on Her Majesty's ensembles, but this one looks like it might be a bit of a trial to wear.

11 May 2013: Royal Windsor Horse Show 
20 January 2013: Church at Sandringham 
2011: State Visit from Turkey, Farewell

Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II/Leslie Field/PA/Polfoto