|Photos (clockwise from top left): Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon; Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon; Florence Bampfylde, Lady Poltimore; Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon; tiara detail|
If ever there was a tiara match made in heaven, it was Princess Margaret and the Poltimore Tiara. This tiara, with its floral and scroll elements, may not have been made for Margaret's swinging '60s beehive hairdo, but when the two came together, it was tiara kismet.
The Poltimore gets its name from its original owner: Florence Bampfylde, Lady Poltimore. It was made for Lady Poltimore by Garrard around 1870, and it can be either worn as a tiara or broken down into a necklace and a whopping eleven brooches. As a tiara, it can also be worn in its full glory or in a slightly smaller version. That's a seriously convertible sparkler.
Margaret died in 2002, and by 2006, her two children were facing a massive estate tax bill. Along with quite a few of Margaret's other jewels (though not all of her tiaras, it should be noted), the Poltimore was auctioned at Christie's in London that July. The high end of the auction estimate was set at about $350,000, but it ended up selling to a private buyer for a staggering $1.7 million. A fittingly grandiose price for an absolutely stupendously grand tiara, if you ask me.
For more on this tiara:
Weekend Bonus: Princess Margaret wears the tiara
The "Poltimore Tiara"