My tiara for a horse

My tiara for a horse

An important platinum and diamond tiara was sold by the Duchess of Alba, who passed away last November, to buy the delightfully named horse Gigoló for her son Cayetano, reports the Spanish newspaper ABC. The tiara, called ‘the Russian’ because of its kokoshnik shape, resurfaced in New York where it is offered for sale by jeweller Joseph Saidian & Sons at the Manhattan Art and Antique Center at Second Avenue.

According to Ariel Saidian, the fifth generation of a family of Jewish jewellery dealers originating from Iran, the tiara was bought from an American dealer in the early 90’s. In her memoirs, the Duchess of Alba recounts how she sold the tiara - which she inherited from her maternal grandmother María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay, Duchess of Híjar and Aliaga, Countess of Salvatierra and Marchioness of San Vicente del Barco (followed by a stretch of other titles) - in order to be able to buy the horse Gigoló, for her son Cayetano, an avid equestrian who won the gold medal in the Spanish championship show jumping in 2006.

Disagreement

Apparently the tiara caused disagreement in the family when her son Alfonso was about to marry María de Hohenlohe in 1977. The Duchess in her memoirs: ‘It was a much beloved and symbolic jewel to the House and to me. And Alfonso, Duke of Aliaga, Grandee of Spain, was the first of my children who got married. I understood why he did not choose a more appropriate location for his wedding (which took place in Marbella), but it was hard for me to understand why she did not want to wear this tiara, since I had offered it with love and respect for tradition. Finally, she reluctantly agreed.’ Years later, Matilde Solis wore the tiara during her wedding to the Duchess’ eldest son Carlos.

Currently the tiara is in a safe in a bank in Manhattan, but Saidian posted a video of the tiara on Instagram (screenshot below). The sales price of the tiara is reported to be over €200,000.

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