The Grand Duchess Stephanie Emerald Parure

 photo courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

photo courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

It is believed that the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his consort Joséphine gave the emerald parure (set) to their adopted daughter, Stéphanie de Beauharnais, on her arranged marriage to the heir of the Grand Duke of Baden in 1806 (the marriage was arranged to consolidate the Confederacy of the Rhine).
Nitot & Fils were the principal jewelers to Napoleon and Joséphine and probably made this set as well. The large stones and the relatively simple design are typical of the neo-classical tastes of Napoleon’s. 
The necklace is comprised of faceted table-cut emeralds bordered by diamonds and briolette-cut emerald drops all set in gold and silver. The drops at the back of the necklace were added later in the 1820s. They can be detached and worn as earrings. 
The parure originally included a tiara, necklace, a pair of earrings and a pair of bracelets. The set came to be known as the “Grand Duchess Stephanie Emerald Parure”. Sadly, only the emerald necklace and the pair of earrings of the original parure survived up to this day. 
It is thought that the parure was broken up after World War II. The necklace and the pair of earrings were acquired by Count Tagliavia. The necklace and earrings were later donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London by the widow of Count Tagliavia, Countess Margharita Tagliavia.

Grand Duchess Stephanie de Beauharnais wearing the emerald parur