Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marie-Amélie's Jewels

It is said that during (Louis-Philippe's) period of rule, in keeping with his austere policies Queen Amalie did not make use of the crown jewels of France, reassembled by Napoleon I, after the French revolution, and further enhanced by Louis XVIII and Charles X. Queen Amalie only wore her personal jewelry during the 18-year period she served as the Queen of the French. In this context, the Queen Amalie Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl Parure, the subject of this webpage, was most probably part of the personal collection of jewelry that belonged to the queen, that was designed and executed by Bapst, the court jeweler, using jewels purchased by Louis Philippe from the jewelry markets of Paris. The parure was probably inherited later by Queen Amalie's descendants, with whom it remained, until it was acquired by the Louvre Museum of France. This probably explains why the parure still remains intact as it was produced over 160 years ago, for if the parure was part of the crown jewels of France, it would have undoubtedly undergone modification or reset in a different setting, when the jewels passed through the hands of the next queen consort of France, Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, a great connoisseur and collector of jewels, who was known to have reset most of the crown jewels of France to suite her own tastes and the fashions of the time.

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