The tiara features stones from the collection of French banker Baron Jacques-Jean Le Couteulx and his wife Geneviève-Sophie Le Couteulx; the largest antique diamond in the center weighs 3.66 carats. The tiara could also be worn as a hairpiece, and each flower of this tiara could be detached into individual brooches as needed.
Baron Jacques-Jean Le Couteulx (left)
Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Portrait of Geneviève-Sophie Le Couteulx, 1788 (right)
Château de Malmaison
François Gérard, Joséphine at Malmaison, 1801
The Couteulx family was one of the richest aristocrats in France at the time and a great commercial and financial powerhouse. They were the owners of the French castle of Malmaison, which they sold in 1799 to Joséphine Bonaparte, wife of French emperor Napoleon. Around 1880, the descendants of the Barons commissioned the Parisian jeweler Guillot to make the crown, which has since been passed down through the family.