The Portland Sapphire Tiara
Here’s a surprise entry to the list, and our first tiara without a royal wearer in its history.
Composed of sapphires (Burma and Ceylon), diamonds, and pearls (natural saltwater). Specifically, there are twelve clusters of cushion-shaped sapphires and old-cut diamonds set in a circlet of diamond husks and swags. The tiara is bordered with diamonds with pearl finials and sapphire accents, and the whole thing is mounted in silver and gold. Its inner circumference measures 54 centimeters .
Our "Portland" name comes from the tiara's family, of course: the tiara was created by E. Wolff & Co. for Garrard shortly after William Cavendish-Bentinck, the 6th Duke of Portland, married Winnifred Dallas-Yorke in 1889. In the true tradition of owning jewels for use and wear instead of museum-like adoration, this tiara is a composite of other family jewels that were broken down to create it. A matching stomacher predates the tiara and may have served as a design inspiration. macher at auction.
About the only representation publicly known of a family member wearing the Portland Sapphire Tiara is a miniature of Ivy Cavendish-Bentinck, wife of the 7th Duke, and Winifred's daughter-in-law. Ivy and her husband William had two daughters but no sons to inherit the dukedom. The title passed to William's third cousin (and has since died out due to lack of male heirs; the earldom of Portland lives on instead), but he made sure that the family fortune (including jewels) stayed with his eldest daughter, Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck. Lady Anne died in 2008, and her wealth was inherited by her nephew, William Parente. In 2010, a selection of the family's best jewels, including your 8th favorite tiara, was auctioned by Christie's. The Portland Sapphire Tiara was initially valued between £250,000 and £300,000 but sold for £763,650 ($1,188,239).