Previously sold by Christie's as a tiara on 15 November 1978, lot 621
This group of brooches, earrings and ring once formed part of an important ruby and diamond tiara which was originally sold in a fitted case by Bolin, the imperial jeweller. According to Vincent Meylan, in his book the 'Queen's Jewels', this tiara was given as a wedding present to Maria Alexandrovna in 1874, on her marriage to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, by her father Tsar Alexander II. In 1893, Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, later inherited the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
The couple had six children, of which the fourth, Princess Alexandra, married Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and subsequently inherited the important ruby parure from her mother, which included a necklace, earrings, pendant, bangle and ring. These were then handed down to her son, the 8th Prince, whose wife Princess Margarita of Greece (the oldest sister of H.R.H. Prince Phillip) was the last in line to wear these exquisite jewels. In November 1978, Christies sold this important suite of jewellery, after which the original faceted rubies were replaced by cabochon stones.