This brooch was made in the late 19th century for the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. Marie, or Minny as she was known to her family, was the sister of Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, who was in turn the wife of Queen Victoria's heir King Edward VII. Minny was also the daughter of the King of Denmark, the sister of the King of the Hellenes (Greece) and the mother of the tragic Tsar Nicholas II - pretty well-connected, wouldn't you say? An avid collector of fabulous jewels, the Dowager Empress did have to leave some of her vast collection behind whe nshe fled Russia following the Russian Revolution. Exiled in her native Denmark, some of Minnie's lost jewels made their way to London with a cache of other Romanov baubles. Ever the opportunist, Queen Mary, the wife of Marie's nephew King George V, was given an advance look at the treaure trove housed at the Bank of England. Picking from countless sparkling tiaras, ropes of enormous pearls and stunning ruby, emerald, sapphire and diamond brooches, necklaces, bracelets and rings, this was one of the many acquisitions made by the Queen.
One of the present Queen's favorite pieces, the Empress Marie Feodorovna Sapphire Brooch is worn frequently by Elizabeth II, and will likely be passed on to future British queens.
This study was done in late 2008 and is the first in a series.