AUCTION – Dreweatts to offer rare opal tiara owned by family of descendants of Marquis de Lafayette

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LONDON – Dreweatts has announced that it will offer an extremely rare opal tiara from the family of the late Jean Pierre François Joseph Pineton de Chambrun, Marquis de Chambrun, Marquis d’Amefreville (1903-2004) and his second wife Muriel, Marquise de Chambrun.

The de Chambrun family has a prominent history as politicians in the French Senate and Chamber of Deputies and were direct descendants of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), the aristocrat and army officer who commanded American troops in several battles in the American War of Independence.

The tiara is estimated to fetch £12,000-£18,000 when it goes under the hammer in Dreweatts Fine Jewellery, Silver Watches and Object of Vertu sale on March 22, 2023.

AUCTION – Dreweatts to offer rare opal tiara owned by family of descendants of Marquis de Lafayette

As a member of at the Cercle de l’Union Artistique in France, Jean Pierre Pineton became an acclaimed painter and designer of jewellery, wrought iron and crystal for the renowned firm Baccarat.

With his background in jewellery, it is thought that the tiara was most probably designed by him. The tiara is exceptionally rare as it is set with opals, hardly ever seen in period tiaras.

“To have a period tiara set with opals is extremely rare, as the opal stone is so fragile, with their composition mainly consisting of water and silica gel,” Dreweatts says.

“One of the very few other tiaras set with opals, is the Princess Marie of Denmark opal tiara, an exuberant Art Nouveau creation of large, towering opal-set floral sprays.”

The tiara in the sale is an exuberant piece of mid-20th century jewellery design. Opals are highly attractive stones due to their colour play.