This is an impressive sapphire brooch, made around 1900, by the Bourbon Palma family. In the centre of the brooch is a sapphire weighing 30.70 carats, in a breath-taking cornflower blue and exuding a soft lustre like velvet.
When Princess Mary Anne of Austria married Prince Avery of Bourbon Palma in 1903, her mother gave her this sapphire brooch as a gift. Mary Anne was the second daughter of Princess Isabel of Croy and Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Austria. Mary Anne wrote in the record ‘Crimson red leather case with a large brooch inside and 12 beautiful diamonds set around the big sapphire. This brooch can be worn as a buckle for a large pearl necklace. It was given to me by my mother as a wedding gift.’ The sapphire brooch has always been favoured by members of the royal family. Queen Victoria had a similar sapphire brooch, which was later passed to Queen Elizabeth II of England.