France, circa 1910,
Platinum, diamonds, Height: 74mm, D : 200mm
Private collection, Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
This tiara’s shape is inspired by the type of tiara complementing the Russian ‘kokoshnik’ style outfit. This particular Art Deco model is distinguished by its symmetrical arabesques. The tiara belonged to Lady Louis, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, spouse of the Viceroy and First Lady of India. Her daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, will sell it to Sotheby’s London in 2002.
Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley (1901- 1960) marries Lord Mountbatten of Burma at the age of 20. She has exquisite good taste and has inherited a great fortune from her grandfather, the financier Ernest Cassel. She was a post-war new-generation woman and a champion of women’s emancipation, sporting a short hairdo and a slender figure, thus presenting a great contrast to the women of the Victorian era. Even though she was criticised for her frivolous and social lifestyle, she would play an important role during the period leading to independence for India, as wife of the Indian Viceroy and she herself being India’s First Lady. With the assistance of Cartier, Boucheron, or Lacloche, she would adapt her mother’s jewellery collection to Art Deco gems.