Private Collection, Courtesy of Albion Art Jewellery Institute

Private collection, Courtesy of Albion Art Jewellery Institute
Cartier, 1907

The tiara consists of twin pave set diamond olive branches meeting at a pear shaped diamond in the centre. The classical olive branch tiara was not only fashionable in the final years of the Belle Epoque but is was particularly suitable for Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962) for it evoked
the tiaras worn by the Bonaparte women during the First Empire of Napoleon I.  As if to emphasises her background Princess Marie wore her tiara low on the brow just as the Empress Josephine had done. Since the tiara was one of the jewels ordered at the time of her
marriage to Prince George of Greece, the olive branch had a special significance for his bride
who was destined to live in Athens. A symbol of peace and prosperity the olive was the attribute of the goddess Athena, who protected the city and whose shrine was the Parthenon on the Acropolis. As a result of this marriage Princess Mathilde was related to all the royal families of Europe and Russia and therefore would have attended the great events in their lives, many requiring formal dress and tiara.


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