Princess Stéphanie of Belgium received this matched set of jewellery as a gift from the city of Budapest on the occasion of her marriage to Crown Prince Rudolph on 10 May 1881. Thus the Belgian coat of arms appears on the pendant of the necklace, while the Budapest coat of arms decorates the central medallion on the belt. The extremely colourful ensemble consists of a belt, necklace, ear-pendants, two bracelets, five hairpins and ten bodice clasps. In several respects the jewellery refers to the tradition and history of the Hungarian nation . The inclusion of bodice clasps, for example, which otherwise were not customary in the court fashion of the time, demonstrates that the jewellery was supposed to be worn with the Hungarian national costume. The decoration with the opal as focus of attention is of equal significance. By far the most beautiful examples of this stone - regarded in the Middle Ages and Renaissance as the "stone of stones" to be given preference over all others - were and still are mined at sites at Mount Libánka and Mount Simonka (today in Slovakia). In addition, the lavish use of enamelled gold decoration as well as the form and detail are in keeping with Hungarian magnate (aristocratic) jewellery of the 16th century. Crown Princess Stéphanie was widowed by the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolph at Mayerling in 1889 and remarried in 1900. The jewellery thus reverted to the possession of Emperor Francis Joseph, who had it placed in the Treasury.
Gold, emailliert, unagrische Opale, Diamanten, Rubine
KESZITETTEK EGGER TESTVEREK BUDAPESTEN 1881
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer, WS XIb 41
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