A gorgeous deep purple brooch, this piece is an eye catcher in The Queen’s collection! A large hexagonal amethyst is decorated with diamond scrollwork around the top, and radiating rows of diamonds on the bottom half; this gives it a shell-like shape.
The piece can be worn with or without three amethyst pendants, which we rarely see from The Queen, but you will notice the tiny loops on the image above for this attachment.
The brooch is actually part of a set, or demi-parure, composing a necklace, hair combs, earrings, and three brooches; if it had a tiara, it would be a ‘full’ parure. It has been suggested (which I think makes a lot of sense) that the other two brooches have been absorbed into the parure’s necklace – see the photo below for the two similar shaped segments and let us know your theory…!
As the name suggests, this brooch has a connection to the Dukedom of Kent. Made in the early part of the 19th century for the Duchess of Kent, she passed the set to her daughter upon her death in 1861: her daughter just so happened to be Queen Victoria. The so-called Grandmother of Europe made the amethyst brooch an heirloom of the crown upon her own death, to be passed down successive generations of Queens.
As is to be expected, we usually see this on a background of purples, but I would be interested to see the brooch on a pale pink background, or even white to make it pop!