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Royal Spanish Tiaras: The Ansorena Meander Tiara

Definitely my favorite Spanish tiara and quite possibly in my top five tiaras of all time you'll find the Ansorena Meander Tiara. If you've been following me and reading these posts for any length of time, you'll know that I love a convertible piece of jewelry. One that is a necklace one minute and a brooch another. Or better yet, a tiara that can still be a tiara yet also a necklace at the same time. I love the efficiency.
The Ansorena Meander Tiara
The Ansorena Meander Tiara

Definitely my favorite Spanish tiara and quite possibly in my top five tiaras of all time you’ll find the Ansorena Meander Tiara. If you’ve been following me and reading these posts for any length of time, you’ll know that I love a convertible piece of jewelry. One that is a necklace one minute and a brooch another. Or better yet, a tiara that can still be a tiara yet also a necklace at the same time. I love the efficiency.

A portion of the tiara can be worn as a necklace. Oh the possibilities!

Quoting Bonhams auction house, who auctioned the tiara off in September of 2018, “This “garland style” tiara, by Spanish royal jeweller, Ansorena, is designed as a double diadem that may be detached to form two separate tiaras, one of which is designed to be further converted to form a choker. It is of impeccable workmanship and the elegant Louis XVI design of diamond wreaths and flowers has a lightness and lace-like quality made possible by the technical freedom and innovation of working in platinum; a metal that is as light as it is strong. Jewellers only began to understand how truly to exploit platinum from around 1900, so it is particularly interesting that this tiara is noted in Ansorena’s archives as being conceived as early as 1890.”

The Countess of Villagonzalo in her gala costume at the Royal Palace in Madrid wearing the tiara dated c.1920. Image courtesy of the Countess’ family.

“The tiara was owned by Spanish noblewoman Esperanza Chávarri Aldecoa, Countess of Villagonzalo, wife of Fernando Maldonado Salabert, 8th Count of Villagonzalo. The photograph, circa 1920, shows the Countess in her gala costume at the Royal Palace in Madrid wearing the tiara modishly low over her brow in the manner of an Art Deco bandeau, with a diamond tassel (subsequently lost) at its centre. It was not unusual for valuable tiaras to be adapted as fashions changed. The Countess was a lady-in-waiting of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen Consort of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Queen Victoria Eugenie also owned splendid jewels by Ansorena; her famous diamond fleur-de-lys tiara is today one of the central pieces in the Spanish Crown Jewels.”

The Ansorena Meander Tiara
The upper portion of the tiara, consisting of greek key, forget-me-not and laurel motifs.

“Formed as a single diadem, the upper band of meandering Greek key motifs, forget-me-not flowers and trailing laurel leaves, representing true love and the triumph of love, the lower band designed as a delicate lacework lattice with central handkerchief motif, set throughout with old brilliant, single and rose-cut diamonds with delicate millegrain detail and knifewire tracery throughout, mounted in platinum, diamonds approximately 33.50 carats total.”

The bottom portion of the tiara, as it would attach to the top.

So, what say the masses? Do you like it? Love it (like me)? Hate it? I’m just sad that while I’m in Spain at the time of publication, I won’t get to see this beauty unless someone is kind enough to tell me who bought it. Was it you?

Comments

7 Responses

  1. It is a lovely tiara, extremely versatile, and it is a pity that the Villagonzalos sold, but how is it a Spanish Royal tiara?

  2. I am so sorry the diamond tassel is missing and I could see this worn by Queen Letiza with class and panache, in any of its sets. So interesting and downright gorgeous and hopefully it will be introduced to the public, once again, in the future. To beautiful to be stored in a dark dusty vault for the rest of its life.

  3. I can’t believe they sold it! It is so beautiful and versitile … and, how do you ‘lose’ a diamond tassel? The fleur de lys tiara mentioned is also exquisite, but the one often worn by the spanish queen with the pearls, Ansorena Fleur-de-Lis Tiara, looks like something from a childs dressing up box! imho

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