The story of The Empress Of Iran, Farah Pahlavi’s Crown is the story of a life devoted to love and service. The love of a man for his wife and the devotion to each other and to an entire nation. This story and the inspiration we can all take from it is celebrated in two of our most popular accesories. The Shahbanou crown brooch and the Empress Farah Pahlavi crown silk scarf. Like all the products we design and create, they have real meaning and a story behind them. The story of the Empress crown is one that is always worth telling.
HIM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had already ruled Iran for twenty years when he married Farah Diba in 1959, yet his Highness was still to have his official coronation. HIM Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s choice was a measure of the man himself, postponing his coronation until such a time as he felt he truly deserved it. That historic day arrived in 1967; the coronation would take place in 26 October of that year and it was one that was set to break with tradition. For many centuries beforehand the wives of monarchs were not crowned; that honour only going to the male ruler only the male ruler. This tradition changed with the Shah of Iran In a nod to the White Revolution’s mandate on the emancipation of women, Emperor Pahlavi was determined that his consort should also be crowned however, there was one rather pressing problem: since it had been centuries since an Iranian empress had been crowned, there was no crown…
A new crown was needed and the honorable task of making it would fall to one of the world’s most prestigious jewellers, Van Cleef and Arpels. This incredible honour was bestowed in 1966 when Pierre Arpels learned that out of the fifty proposals for the design of the imperial crown submitted by the greatest jewelers of the time, the Iranian government had chosen a Van Cleef & Arpels’ drawing. This event marked one of the most prestigious special orders in the Maison’s history.
Tradition dictated that the gems used in the crown and coronation jewelry were selected from those kept safely in the Imperial treasury, none of which were ever permitted to leave Iran. Therefore unable to bring the priceless jewels back to Paris, Pierre Arpels spent long days in the Central Bank’s basement vaults passionately selecting each stone that would adorn the imperial crown. He then set up a complete workshop in the National Treasury room to create, in 6 months and under the tightest levels of security, this historic special order, made from stunning white gold and the finest green velvet, covered with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies, and spinels. The company presented the empress with a true piece of our national history; a crown made of emerald velvet set with 36 emeralds, 36 rubies, 105 pearls, 1,469 diamonds and 150 carat emerals at the center. Van Cleef and Arpels also made a large gold and platinum necklace for Queen to wear on the coronation day. It features a large carved emerald as the central pendant, plus additional emeralds, white and yellow diamonds, and pearls. The Queen also wore a pair of coordinating earrings by Van Cleef and Arpels.
The Maison also crafted the jewelry sets of the Shah sisters. Today as state property, the crown jewels can be seen on display to the public at the Central Bank in Tehran. The Shah placed the new crown on his new wife’s head himself as she looked every inch a true regal figure in a white gown and coronation robes design by Marc Bohum for Christian Dior and Pouran Darroudi supervisor of embroidery. Her iconic 60’s hairstyle was both fashionable and an excellent anchor for that enormous crown.
Kiani Concept Shahbanou crown brooch captures the beauty and finesse of The Empress crown worn that day with an intricate brooch of handmade precision and peerless craftsmanship, it is decorated with over 150 pieces of Swarovski crystals on 925ct Silver frame and is designed specifically to sit perfectly on all kinds of clothing with a strong and secure safety pin on the reverse. The Empress Farah Pahlavi Crown Scarf is a celebration in 100% purest silk, hand crafted and 90cm x 90cm in size it features the perfect high resolution image of the Crown worn by Her Royal Highness set upon a field of deep rich reds and an intricate flower detail, it is a scarf for any occasion, worn on the head, across the shoulder, the back or waist. It comes in a very special luxury scarf gift box. To learn more about our own story and the stories that inspire us and to see our products for yourself, get in touch today.