The Mary Tudor Pearl Unveiled

The Mary Tudor Pearl Unveiled


This year, jewellery exhibitor Symbolic & Chase will be showcasing an extraordinary jewel from European Royal history– The Mary Tudor Pearl. The Renaissance pearl surfaced in 2004, having been lost since the late 16th century, and can be dated back to 1526. It measures 258.12 grains (64.5 carats, 69.8 carats with its diamond cap) making it the third largest well-formed natural pearl documented today.
MP 1234

Between 1526 and 1539 the pearl entered into the outstanding jewellery collection of the Empress Isabella of Portugal (1503-1539), either as a diplomatic gift or by the Empress purchasing it. When the Empress died in 1539 the pearl was inherited by her daughter, Juana of Austria (1535-1573). Following a short marriage to Prince John of Portugal (1537 – 1554), Juana returned to Spain to assume regency for her brother, Philip II. The pearl became part of Philip’s dowry for his new bride, Mary Tudor (1516-1558), after whom the pearl has been christened.

It is an outstanding asymmetrical drop-shaped pearl that was much admired by the Tudor courts and is featured in Royal portraiture of Mary Tudor, namely ‘Mary Tudor, Queen of England, second wife of Felipe II’ by Anthonis Mor at the Museo del Prado and ‘Queen Mary I’ by Hans Eworth, which has been included below courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library. A similar painting by Hans Eworth of Queen Mary I also hangs at the National Portrait Gallery.

Read entire article about Mary Tudor's pearl here.

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