|Photos (clockwise from top left): tiara detail; Princess Marina of Savoy; Princess Clotilde of Savoy; tiara detail; tiara detail|
I think it's long past time that we dipped into the jewel collection of the Savoys, don't you? The former royal family of Italy retains some significant pieces, not the least of which is the tiara from the pink tourmaline parure.
The stones in this piece are often misidentified as pink topazes rather than tourmalines, and originally the jewels were set with garnets instead. Unusually for a major royal tiara, this piece has stayed in Italy throughout its history. It originally belonged to Queen Maria Theresa of Sardinia, a member of the Tuscan branch of the Habsburg family who died in 1855. Her son Ferdinand, the Duke of Genoa, inherited the tiara, but he died only a month after his mother. His wife, Princess Elisabeth of Saxony, continued to wear the tiara, eventually bequeathing it to her daughter Margherita of Savoy.
Margherita married King Umberto I of Italy, and it has remained with their descendants to this day. Prince Vittorio Emanuele, the current pretender to the Italian throne, now owns the piece, and his wife, the water-skiing Princess Marina, dons it occasionally. The tourmalines had their most significant public outing in recent years at the wedding of Vittorio Emanuele and Marina's son, Emanuele Filiberto, to French actress Clothilde Courau.