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Princess Fawzia of Egypt, daughter of King Fouad of Egypt and sister of King Farouk, was born in Alexandria in 1921. The young princess, who was known at the time for her ravishing beauty, married Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, future Shah of Iran, on March 16, 1939. Their sumptuous wedding, celebrated at Abdeen Palace in Cairo, secured a political bond between Iran and Egypt.
One year before the wedding, Van Cleef & Arpels was called upon to design the bride’s parure. A double-strand necklace, earrings, a ring and a tiara, all sparkling with platinum and diamonds, thus came into being. Perpetuating the Art Deco tradition, the sketches drawn for these creations exhibit a streamlined elegance that highlights the beauty of the stones. The tiara alone is set with 54 pear-shaped diamonds totaling 92 carats, as well as 530 baguette-cut diamonds weighing 72 carats. This sweeping order is featured in several archival sketches. The Maison’s Heritage collection also includes the necklace created at the same time for Princess Fawzia’s mother, Queen Nazli.
Even before this wedding, the Egyptian royal family had often drawn attention by purchasing exceptional pieces created by the Maison. The most outstanding of these jewels are the 1929 emerald and diamond necklace and the Mystery Set Pivoine clip from 1937, both of which belonged to Fawzia’s sister, Princess Faiza of Egypt.