In 1904, the lavish diadem that will be sold at Christie's in Geneva on 15 May was designed for Princess Alexandra of Hanover, in celebration of her marriage to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Frederick Francis IV. 

As a fervent admirer and collector of Fabergé objects, the Grand Duke's mother, the Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, proposed that her son use the workshop of the famous jeweller for the design of his wedding gift.

The diamond and aquamarine tiara. Image: Christie's The diamond and aquamarine tiara. Image: Christie's

According to the archives, the specifics of the confection were negotiated in a correspondence between the official cabinet of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Eugène Fabergé. A letter dated 10 May 1904 offers the options of "a diamond tiara for 10,000 rupees or a diadem of aquamarine and diamonds for 7,500 rupees". 

Another note refers to a series of drawings that Fabergé had sent to the Grand Duchess in order to obtain the approval of her son. The sketches representing the possible upper section of the diadem were however lost, and just two weeks before the wedding, Eugène Fabergé remained without precise instructions on the final design of the tiara.

After having asked for the sketches again, Fabergé declared that he was unable to deliver the tiara in such a limited period of time, just days before the June wedding.

The 1904 wedding of Princess Alexandra of Hanover to Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The 1904 wedding of Princess Alexandra of Hanover to Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Princess Alexandra of Hanover was thus obliged on her wedding day to wear the traditional Hanoverian wedding crown, a jewel kept in the family for a century that was commissioned in 1761 by King George III of England, for Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 

Princess Alexandra of Hanover received the tiara from Fabergé some time later. Sine then, the elegant piece has not been revealed to the public for more than a century. 

Princesse Alexandra of Hanover wearing the Faberge tiara. Princesse Alexandra of Hanover wearing the Faberge tiara.

The diadem has details designed especially for the royal event. A frieze of forget-me-not floral designs interlaced with ribbons embodies true and eternal love, while the arrows refer to the figure of Cupid, symbolising commitment and affection. Nine aquamarine stones carved in pear shapes overhang the diadem, whose structure is dotted with more modest diamonds. 

On 15 May in Geneva, Christie's will auction this exquisite Fabergé tiara, which is expected to fetch between £172,000-260,000.

The tiara of Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, that sold for $12.7 million at Sotheby's in 2011. Image: The Telegraph The tiara of Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, that sold for $12.7 million at Sotheby's in 2011. Image: The Telegraph

The most expensive tiara ever sold at auction belonged to the wife of Napoleon III. It was auctioned in 2001 at Sotheby's for £9.8 million.

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