Without any research or scientific proof, I state that this gemstone flower bouquet is ‘the most expensive gemstone flower bouquet ever’. And I (and with me a lot of other Dutch people) watch this from a distance of about 20 centimeters or less than 8 inches away. With only a thin glass between me and this wonder of gemstones. Therefore I describe this stunning gemstone flower bouquet to you, so you can enjoy it too.
The same brooch was owned by Tsarina Elisabeth of Russia (Romanov family) but with another background.
Money must be funny in a rich man’s world
It looks like in the 18th century the Russian nobility has plenty of money. And one of the goals of those people is to look as mighty, as powerful, and as rich as possible. They buy a lot, I mean a lot, of jewelry, decorated with very expensive gemstones. The average weight of the jewelry the Tsarina and her friends is about 2-3 kilos. And I don’t count the weight of the dresses and hairdos. So this gemstone flower bouquet brooch is just their piece of cake.
800+ diamonds in a gemstone flower bouquet
This gemstone flower bouquet brooch made in the shape of a gemstone flower bouquet is an order from Tsarina Elisabeth of Russia to the most important jeweler in St.Petersburg, Mr. Jérémie Pauzié. He is famous among the nobility and other rich people in Russia. He uses hundreds of diamonds colored gemstones, and even fabric to make this beautiful gemstone flower bouquet.
It is made of 400 brilliant-cut diamonds that form the hearts of the flowers and the leaves. More than 450 rose-cut diamonds are set around colorful gemstones, to let them shine more. Those gemstones are sapphires, garnets, rubies, chrysolites, emeralds, and topaz. They form the accents of the flowers and leaves of this gemstone flower bouquet.
He uses diamonds also to make the less exquisite gems look better. Like garnet, agate, opal, turquoise, and onyx. And to accomplish it he adds a small gemstone insect on a branch of emerald. The leaves are made of fabric. And the base of the gemstone flower bouquet is silver.
Women wear brooches like this on their shoulders or on their belts. At the back of this gemstone flower bouquet, the brooch is a ‘hook’ to fasten the brooch. The vase is made to store this brooch in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, where the gemstone flower bouquet brooch can be seen.
Mr. Jérémie Pauzié, the designer
Mr. Jérémie Pauzié is a very famous and important Swiss jeweler. His clientele is the Tsars, the Russian nobility, and important (and rich) people, like courtiers. Let us say, the rich and famous of the Russian Baroque (18th century). He is born in 1713 in Geneva and followed his father to St. Petersburg in 1726. He studies to cut diamonds there and in 1740 he starts his own business.
Pauzié is famous for his snuff boxes, his rings, jewelry, and medals. But above all Tsarina Elisabeth loves his jewelry and gives him plenty of business. He travels abroad to buy jewelry and findings or gemstones. AND he makes the famous crown for Tsarina Catherine the Great in 1762. His reputation is set.
Isn’t this a beautiful piece of art? OKE, that is expensive, but that is not telling the whole story. Since it is exquisite and beautiful.
Detail of the brooch owned by Tsarina Elisabeth (1740-1750), made of 400 diamonds and 450 other precious gemstones. It was placed in a vase when not in use. Designed by Jeremie Pauzie.
The flower brooch in a Diamond Room
The gemstone flower bouquet brooch I describe in this blog post was admired and photographed by me in the Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam. But that is not its normal ‘home’. A lot of the Russian jewelry, including the jewelry of the Romanovs, is housed in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, in the so-called Diamond Room. And that is a great name for that room since it is packed with jewelry, diamond jewelry. Here you see a very valuable jewelry exhibition that shows jewelry from the 3rd century BC until now.
Diamonds, and gemstones
For instance, you can see there is a collection of gemstones, collected by Peter the Great. The 200 gemstones come from Siberia and are mostly robbed out of graves. A nasty thing to do, but it is a pity to leave gemstones in a grave, thinks the magpie in me.
The Diamond Room got its name from Tsarina Catherine II or the Great. Here you find private jewelry collections of the Tsar family of Russia, diplomatic gifts, objects from the Church, etc. All decorated with lots and lots of diamonds and gemstones, just like the gemstone flower bouquet brooch.
Whether you like an enormous brooch like this gemstone flower bouquet or not, you have to appreciate the craftsmanship of this jewelry designer. Nowadays it is a bit too much, I guess, but in those days you have to be the center when you are the Tsarina of great Russia, so you cannot do without statement jewelry, just like this gemstone flower bouquet.
Other examples of flower bouquet brooches
Maybe the flower bouquet brooch of Tsarina Catherine II the Great is the most famous flower brooch, but there are also other brooches that might wear the name ‘flower bouquet brooch’ with grace. They might be inspired by the Romanov brooch, but they all have their own beauty.
Do you know what kind of jewelry looks great on you? How to accentuate your best features? What necklace goes best with a short neck? Or what you should not wear when you have a bit larger hips? Well, I have those problems too and so I published a new PDF/e-book about this subject, with dozens of tips. All the questions you have about what looks great on you and how to accentuate your best features with the right jewelry are in this e-book. And if you still have a question, just e-mail me ([email protected]).
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