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  • Harry Fane

Our very well dressed Queen

Without having seen these two brooches in hand, I would suggest they are a pair of diamond and aquamarine dress clips made in the 1930s by Cartier, London. However, from what was published today, they are described as being by Boucheron which is perfectly likely. They were a gift from her father on her 18th birthday. Of course, Cartier is the jeweller who is particularly famous for their diamond and aquamarine designs. Francesca Cartier Brickell writes about how the firm tried to corner the market in aquamarines and citrines to make their signature pieces and not allow other jewellers to copy them. Double clips were a standard item in a woman’s jewellery box at that time. Hugely adaptable; one could be worn alone, they could be worn together to form a single brooch or traditionally split and worn separately to make a bolder statement. Some double clips were sometimes worn clipped onto bangles and worn as a bracelet. Margaret Thatcher, another historical English figure, often worn a single Cartier diamond and aquamarine brooch. Here, Queen Elizabeth, always so elegant and modest in her appearance, sports these clips which are astonishing in their size. Most clips of the period were somewhat smaller but why would our beloved Monarch wear anything but the biggest and the best whether they be by Boucheron or Cartier.

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