nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
Apparently I'm now going to teach myself how to work with wire and solder. The Bagration tiara copy I bought has bits that project below the tiara band.



I popped it on for a brief time on International Tiara Day. It was very uncomfortable after just 10 minutes. Not good. Unfortunately it's the one I plan to wear for the Gala, which means roughly 5 hours.

Of course, there is a solution: the tiara frame. (All pictures are links.)



A frame is a wire foundation, not mean to be seen. It helps a tiara to float above the wearer's hairstyle, keeping decorative lower elements from being hidden.





Often the wire frame is covered in velvet to match the wearer's hair. This both softens the feel of the tiara on the head and helps grip the hair for greater stability.





A frame can also be added or removed to convert a necklace to a tiara, or vice versa.





And finally, a frame can make a difficult or painful-looking tiara wearable with comfort.




That is the primary reason I will be making one. The 1860s hairstyle does not allow for any kind of padding at the top of the head, so I simply must make some kind of frame. The other reason is that the tiara doesn't fit my head quite right! I haven't tried again with the pliers, but I have misgivings that I'll be able to bend the short loop ends in closely enough to hold the tiara at the right angle. I think with the frame I will be able to fill in that gap. Here's hoping!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I could not make an ultimate decision, so I ordered both the Braganza and the Bagration tiaras. Same seller, very good prices. I LOVE them. Good sturdy weight, lots of detailing, and spectacular sparkle.

The Braganza is the easiest to wear. The frame wire ends are a little long, so with two pliers I could easily curve them in a bit to help fit my head. (Two pliers to avoid putting any tension on the actual tiara part, which is cast and not flexible.)

The Bagration has shorter wires, so it was hard to get a grip with the pliers in the same way. The frame may also be a little stiffer than the Braganza, too. I'll work on it some more.

Both tiaras tilt forward correctly, so they look really good at a normal angle on the head. The Braganza is so nice and high! I love the delicacy and intricacy of the design; it does not look like a pageant tiara at all.  The Bagration is a lot less subtle and not quite as tall. But those of you who voted for it are right - it's got the sparkle power and big stones necessary for balancing the Coronation necklace.

I haven't worn the Bagration yet. Those adjustments to the frame are necessary, since my skull is narrower than the frame and it just keeps tilting back. So far that's been true of all three tiaras I own, these two and the cameos. But I did pop on the Braganza. Posted a picture on the LJ Costumers group on FB... and kept wearing it all evening. Through laundry inside, and pruning flowers outside. Yes, outside. I don't think the neighbors saw me... not sure about the cars driving past or the guy walking his dog. :p 

(I will figure out this Dreamwidth picture thing eventually! I need to figure out how to do it on the phone.)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
Good news is that I did not really have a headache today. Bad news is that since I had a headache on the evenings this week when I did not have rehearsal, absolutely zero party prep has gotten done. Whoops. Tomorrow will be very busy with groceries and cleaning and then both a rehearsal overlapping with a show (which I can be a guest at).

Still finding tiaras. Seperwar's ebay store is back up after the Chinese New Year holiday, so I'm finding new pretties. I have over 100 in the Repro board! There are so many I would LOVE to see on my costumer friends. :)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I'm particularly proud of identifying this one. It's the Harcourt Emerald Tiara, with the large center stones being clear instead of green. I've found several others with colors changed or added, too.


It was also fun to find the Mike Todd tiara, best known for being the one worn by Elizabeth Taylor. Hee!
nuranar: (accomplishment)

Mostly thanks to [personal profile] madamekat and [personal profile] starlightmasque, I've discovered the world of Real Tiaras. I never realized how many genuine diamond-and-jewel genuine tiaras are out there, and in many cases, still being worn.  I'm also super fascinated that there are also actual reproductions of them being made. Witness the Cameo Tiara, for example.

There are others out there, too, just dumped on ebay and mixed in with all the generic pageant and quinceanera tiaras. A tiny handful of them identify a previous wearer (such as Princess Diana, Fergie, and Queen Sofia of Spain), but most of them have the usual keywords.

So I started a Pinterest board identifying actual reproductions. It is utterly fascinating how close some of them are to the originals, considering they cannot hope to match the delicacy and detail and yet keep them affordable.  My pins are of the reproduction, captioned with the title of the tiara and a link to information about the original tiara. 

Most recently I found the Teck Crescent Tiara, worn most recently by the Queen Mother.



This is the real one, from an excellent blog post on the Royal Order of Splendor. (Seriously, the best blog ever.)


Isn't that pretty and unusual? It's not perfect, by any means, but it's a quite good copy for the price.

I also have another Pinterest board of tiaras that look like they should be reproductions, but I haven't identified the original.  There really are so many tiaras out there in the world, and there's no one place to find all of them.  I would definitely appreciate any leads on those.

Otherwise, have fun! There are often more versions of the same tiara out there (I found multiples of the Cambridge Pearl Drop worn by Diana and now Catherine, as well as the Halo Scroll that Catherine wore in the wedding), and multiple sellers with probably the same version.  It's not an exhaustive list. Just pre-loading some research and sourcing for when I want to expand my collection. :D

[personal profile] padawansguide, I did get your comment! I need to go back and pull my sources out, but I haven't forgotten. :)

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nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
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