Crown of Empress Eugénie

Crown of the last French Empress was made in 1855 by court jeweler Alexandre-Gabriel Lemonnier (circa 1808-1884) and J.-P. Maheu. The eagles were modeled by the Fannière brothers: Auguste the sculptor (1818-1900), and Joseph the carver (1820-1897).

Made in gold and decorated with four hundred and ninety diamonds and fifty-six emeralds. The eight arches in the shape of an eagle were made of chased gold, the others form palmettes made of diamonds, one of which is large in the center. Each palmette is flanked by two emeralds. The arches meet under a diamond globe enhanced with a circle and a semi-circle formed by thirty-two emeralds and topped with a cross composed of six brilliants. The Empress’s crown was modeled on that for the Emperor, although it was smaller and lighter.

In August 1870, the "Diamonds of the Crown of France" were taken to Brest where they were to remain (after the fall of the regime) until 1872 when they were taken to the vaults of the Finance Ministry. They were then presented at the Exposition universelle of 1878 before being shown for the last time in 1884 at the Louvre. On 11 January, 1887, a law of disposal was passed concerning the "Diamonds of the Crown of France", and the stone were put up for sale four months later. Fortunately the most prestigious pieces were not included in the sale, but many masterpieces and historic stones were to disappear into private hands, including notably the crown of Napoleon III. Eugénie’s crown did not suffer the same fate. It was returned to the fallen empress by the Third Republic after 1875 and subsequently bequeathed to Princesse Marie-Clotilde Napoléon. Put up for auction in 1988, the crown was offered by benefactors, Mr and Mrs Roberto Polo, to the Musée du Louvre where it joined the other jewels of France’s royal past.

Crown of Empress Eugénie.JPG

Crown  of Empress Eugénie.JPG

Crown of Empress  Eugénie.JPG

Crown  of Empress  Eugénie.JPG
Eugénie, in full Eugénie, comtesse (countess) de Teba, original name Eugénia María de Montijo de Guzmán, (born May 5, 1826, Granada, Spain—died July 11, 1920, Madrid), wife of Napoleon III and empress of France (1853–70), who came to have an important influence on her husband’s foreign policy. The daughter of a Spanish noble who fought on the French side during Napoleon I’s Peninsular War in Spain, Eugénie went to Paris when Louis-Napoléon became president of the Second Republic in December 1848. They were married in January 1853 after he had become the emperor Napoleon III.​

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