Spectacular Oak Leaf Tiaras

Open-back silver and gold tiara, set with diamonds in the form of an oakleaf wreath- The British Museum

The case this tiara originally was stored in was stamped with the initials 'MP'- likely Mary Selina Charlotte Portman, daughter of Viscount Milton, who married 2nd Viscount Portman June, 1855.  Starry Diadem reveals the interesting story behind this tiara.  This tiara, created by Hunt and Roskell in 1855.  The overall design of oak leaves and acorns set in diamonds, mounted on an open-backed silver and gold frame, the main two side pieces can be dismounted from the frame and worn as as hair combs or even a  corsage.  The two side elements are shown on Starry Diadem mounted on a pair of tortoiseshell combs.

In 1970, the tiara was auctioned by Sotheby's, and was purchased by an extraordinary jewellery collector, Ann Hull-Grundy (1926 -1984).

Born into a Jewish banking and industrial family in Nuremberg in 1926, Anne Hull Grundy, left Germany for England when Hitler rose to power in 1933. Her father re-established the family’s manufacture of metal pressed toys in Northampton and by 1939 Mettoy was a successful company.

Following the war years, when the company produced jerry cans and machine gun parts, Mettoy introduced the hugely successful Corgi range of die-cast zinc toys. It was these Corgi toys, together with income from the Keyser-Ullman bank, which later provided Hull Grundy with the wealth which enabled her to
form one of the finest jewellery collections in the world.

Hull Grundy started collecting when she was eleven. Tragically, she was disabled by a respiratory condition at the age of twenty-one, which tied her to a wheelchair and ultimately to her bed, but that didn't stop her passion for collecting extraordinary jewels.  She dedicated her life to the study and collecting of European jewellery and Japanese ivories. Buying many of the pieces for her collections by post, she assembled thousands of exquisite pieces of jewellery, but only ever wearing a wedding band on her hand.

Thanks to Hull Grundy, Britain’s museums are much richer in jewellery today.British Museum was given some of the most important pieces from her collection in 1978, including this tiara. The tiara is on permanent display at the British Museum.

Other Oak Wreath Tiaras:

Tiara from the 19th century originally belonged to Lady Fellowes, separates into brooches

Tiara of oak leaves, acorns and hollow acorn cups set with brilliant and
rose-cut diamonds. By Garrard for the 15th Duke of Norfolk to give to
his bride, Gwendolyn Constable Maxwell, on their marriage in 1904.

(From Munn's Tiaras Past and Present)

Pictures From Maries Jewels Royals Blog


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