platinum set with old- and rose-cut diamonds, inner circumfence approximately 21 cm, weight 34 g. Signed Boucheron Paris.
Mrs Anna-Lisa Björling (1910-2006), wife of the world famous tenor Jussi Björling (1911-1960). Acquired 1956 and presumably worn for the first time at the Opening night of Don Carlo at the Metropolitan in 1957.
Geoffrey C Munn: ‘Tiaras – A History of Splendour’, 2001,
The period around the turn of the last century is one of the richest periods in the history of jewellery art. The developments were almost explosive, both artistically and in terms of craftsmanship. After centuries of trial and error, the white metal platinum was finally mastered. Leading jewellers such as Cartier, Fabergé and Boucheron competed in the complex art of creating sheer, lightweight masterpieces from the tough metal. Very little platinum is needed to create durable designs, and suddenly large but airy jewellery could be made with almost invisible gemstone settings. This technological breakthrough created new possibilities and freedom for jewellery designers.
The stunning Boucheron tiara that Bukowskis has the great honour of presenting is a triumph of this period. The tiara was created around 1909, during a period when women around the world were freed from old shackles and given new rights and opportunities, a development that was reflected in both clothing and jewellery fashion. It is not a wild guess to assume that Boucheron's tiara was originally created for the new radical type of woman of the time and someone who was looking for a new and more modern expression for her jewellery wardrobe - for example, a tiara that contrasted with earlier stylistically rigid tiaras weighed down by tradition and old rules and regulations. The flying dragonflies of platinum and diamonds that move forward through the tiara with apparent ease are light years away from the pompous and heavy tiaras of earlier eras, often decorated with large pearls and expensive gemstones.
In Boucheron's studios during this period, the legendary tiara "The Wave Tiara", was created, whose further fates are unknown and which we today only know through Boucheron's old archive photos. The master behind the famous tiara used a Japanese artist Hokusai's famous woodcut "Under the wave off Kanagawa" as a motif and, with almost superhuman skill, created a jewellery version in precious metal and precious stones with the same artistic grandeur that we experience in Hokusai's image. Perhaps it is the same master behind the tiara that Bukowskis is now selling - also with motifs from Japanese culture. The dragonfly has mythological status in Japanese literature and art, and the short-lived flying insect is also depicted in other famous pictures by Hokusai. As in all great art, Boucheron's tiara combines timelessness with relevance and has a place in the history books as the masterpiece it is.