Manchester Tiara thumbnail 1
Manchester Tiara thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Manchester Tiara

Tiara
1903 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Manchester Tiara was made by Cartier, Paris, in 1903 to the order of Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester. Cartier’s records note that she supplied over a thousand brilliant-cut diamonds and more than 400 rose-cut diamonds, while Cartier supplied further rose-cut diamonds and the paste stones which make up the scrolls at the end of each side.

This tiara of graduated flaming hearts and C scrolls was inspired by a vision of France before the Revolution. Louis Cartier encouraged his designers to sketch 18th-century ironwork and architectural ornament in Paris and Versailles, and to study engraved jewellery designs.

Consuelo, Duchess of Manchester (1858-1909), was the daughter of Antonio Yznaga del Valle, of Ravenswood, Louisiana, New York and Cuba. Consuelo was taken by her mother to Paris where her American friends included Jennie Jerome, later to be the mother of Winston Churchill and Alva Smith, later to be Alva Vanderbilt. Consuelo married George Victor Drogo Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, the future 8th Duke of Manchester, in 1876. The Duke of Portland recorded that she ‘took Society completely by storm by her beauty, wit and vivacity and it was soon at her very pretty feet’. She became a friend of Queen Alexandra to whom she bequeathed a bracelet on her death in 1909. A letter to the Times described her as ‘one of the first of the American ladies who married into the great English families, and who brought to this country that rare combination of high intelligence, a sunny nature and uncommon personal charm’.

interact Design and make your own story Use objects from around the home to help you create your own story. Then design the costumes and sets, and bring it to life! Take a look at the objects in our collections for more inspiration. Designed for ages 7 and up.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold and silver with diamonds; the C-scroll at each end is set with paste (glass)
Brief Description
'The Manchester Tiara', gold and silver set with diamonds and pastes (glass). Cartier, Paris, 1903.
Physical Description
Diamond tiara composed of seven graduated heart-shaped openwork motifs with 'C' scroll ends, with detachable collet and scroll surmounts, each centre suspending three diamond drops. The smallest heart motif and the 'C' scrolls at each end are set with paste, except the three collet diamonds at the centre of each heart and their two outer borders.
Dimensions
  • Height: 9.1cm
  • Width: 23.5cm
  • Depth: 19.0cm
Credit line
Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2007
Object history
The tiara was commissioned by Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester, in 1903 from Cartier, Paris, primarily using diamonds which she had supplied.
Subject depicted
Summary
The Manchester Tiara was made by Cartier, Paris, in 1903 to the order of Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester. Cartier’s records note that she supplied over a thousand brilliant-cut diamonds and more than 400 rose-cut diamonds, while Cartier supplied further rose-cut diamonds and the paste stones which make up the scrolls at the end of each side.



This tiara of graduated flaming hearts and C scrolls was inspired by a vision of France before the Revolution. Louis Cartier encouraged his designers to sketch 18th-century ironwork and architectural ornament in Paris and Versailles, and to study engraved jewellery designs.



Consuelo, Duchess of Manchester (1858-1909), was the daughter of Antonio Yznaga del Valle, of Ravenswood, Louisiana, New York and Cuba. Consuelo was taken by her mother to Paris where her American friends included Jennie Jerome, later to be the mother of Winston Churchill and Alva Smith, later to be Alva Vanderbilt. Consuelo married George Victor Drogo Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, the future 8th Duke of Manchester, in 1876. The Duke of Portland recorded that she ‘took Society completely by storm by her beauty, wit and vivacity and it was soon at her very pretty feet’. She became a friend of Queen Alexandra to whom she bequeathed a bracelet on her death in 1909. A letter to the Times described her as ‘one of the first of the American ladies who married into the great English families, and who brought to this country that rare combination of high intelligence, a sunny nature and uncommon personal charm’.



Collection
Accession Number
M.6:1-2007

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record createdApril 21, 2008
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