‘The Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia’s Brooch’. Empress Maria Feodorovna's wedding gift. When the Princess Dagmar of Denmark married the futur Czar and Tsarewitsch, her sister Alexandra Princess of Wales and her brother-in-law Edward Prince of Wales, presented her this oval cabochon sapphire and diamond brooch with a pearshaped pearl.
After the death of the Empress Maria Feodorovna, her daughter Grand Duchess Olga, inherit the jewels and sold it. Queen Mary bought the Sapphire and Diamond Pearl brooch
'‘King George V appointed Peter Bark as trustee of the Estate in England, King Christian X appointed Vice Admiral Amdrup and Esbern Trolle, Solicitor of the Supreme Court, as executors for the Danish estate. Everything was left to Xenia and Olga. There was nothing for Michael’s widow or his son George, though Dagmar had made provision for her servants and Cossack bodyguards. King George was still paying pensions to the Russian suite and servants the following year. Her faithful bodyguard Yachik…received GBP 8 a month from the British Court until 1938….Even before the funeral they had been spirited out of Denmark, in the wake of reports that they would be claimed by the Bolshevik’s. King George was anxious that Xenia’s experience [with the swindle of her money from the sale of her jewels] should not be repeated. ..Now, aware that other relatives had their eyes on the jewels and alered to rumors that a gang of international jewel thieves palnned to steal them, the King sent Bark to Copenhagen. The jewel box was sealed in Xenia’s presence and taken to Buckingham Palace while arrangements were made for the sale. In November 1928 King George was taken seriously ill [the illness that almost killed him and took months to recover from] and it was not until 22 May 1929 that the box was finally opened at Windsor….A week later Mr Hardy of Hennell & Sons, the Bond Street jewelers, was aksed to price every item provisionally and take as long as he needed to sell the jewels discreetly. Xenia withdrew items totally GBP 11,415 but, because of the slump, the remainder were not disposed of until 1933. A few were returned unsold. The final sale price of GBP 135,624 15s 0d was put in trust for Xenia and Olga….Hvidore was sold. On 28 February 1929 Sir Frederick Ponsonby informed Hugh Cassells, the British Consul in Copenhagen, who held Power of Attorney for Queen Alexandra’s heirs, that ‘Princess Brasova’ wished to claim a share of the proceeds for her son George, the Empress’s grandson. King George V and his 3 sisters had agreed to give up their half share in favour of Olga and Xenia. The Estate would therefore be divided between Olga, Xenia and George Brasov….On 22 November 1929 the Executors paid the sum of GBP 11,704 16s 3d to Peter Bark to be invested on behalf of Xenia and Olga. Olga bought a farm…”
The main crux of the problem seems to be that Olga believed that the jewels had sold for more, based on Ponsonby’s recollections in his memoirs of what they were appraised for—about GBP 350,000. They only sold for less than GBP 150,000 so it would seem that there was a large sum missing. This isn’t the case—it’s based on a discrepancy which didn’t exist. Not to mention what would’ve been the gain of ‘swindling’ Olga on the part of the British royals since they paid a pension (out of their own pocket) to Xenia and Marie, among others, as well as signing over their share of Hvidore—which they didn’t have to do. They had also been advanced money before the will was settled.From Little Mother of Russia
Queen Mary wore it several times, from the year 1937 till 1953.
Sources:Royal Collection; Leslie Field;Gettyimages;