Queen Victoria's pearl drop earrings.
Posted by Beth on December 14, 2021, 5:14 pm
Reading The Royal Watcher's publication today, raised queries for me. |
First. How do we know that Prince Albert designed and gave Queen Victoria the large pearl drop earrings? And that the creation date was 1847?
I have never found evidence in Queen Victoria's Journals that Albert gave her these pearls, much less in 1847.
Matched large drop pearls with a good lustre and overtones are obviously expensive, and I would expect that, if Albert had given them to her, Victoria would have recorded the gift in her Journal. Just about everything else is recorded with gushing comments about Albert.
For Christmas 1847 Victoria recorded that Albert gave her "a fine large brooch of one single large pearl set round with diamonds". Obviously not pearl earrings.
What Victoria did record about pearl drops was on 25 June 1840 when she wrote --
"...beautiful, matchless pair of pearl drops. I bought a few days ago for 1,400 (pounds) from Fumaroli, an Italian."
I very much doubt if Queen Victoria would have had two sets of earrings which would match her description of 25 June 1840.
The price of 1,400 pounds indicates that these were not a pair of small pearls. Even then, that was an outstanding sum to pay for a pair of pearls.
Secondly, as Victoria and Albert married only on 10 February 1840, she was very much still in the "honeymoon stage" of adoration for all things Albert, so I doubt she would have forgotten to record such a significant gift or purchase if Albert was involved.
I believe, based on the evidence in Victoria's Journals that she purchased the pearls and no doubt paid to have them set. How much input Albert might have had on the design does not appear to be recorded.
If someone can provide me with primary source evidence to refute Victoria's diary or other evidence which proves that Albert gave these pearls to Victoria, I will happily eat humble pie.