Lot 823. A diamond silver and gold maid of honor cypher, Russia, circa 1855-1860, number 59; 3 in. (7.6 cm.) high, with crownEstimate USD 20,000 - USD 30,000Price realised USD 52,500© Christie's  Images Ltd 2020.

In the form of the Cyrillic initials ‘MA’ for Empress Maria Alexandrovna (1824-1880) and Dowager Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (1798-1860), set with old and rose-cut diamonds mounted in silver-topped gold, surmounted by a hinged diamond-set Imperial crown, with suspension loop and pin, apparently unmarked, numbered 59 on reverse.

Provenance: Anonymous sale; Christie’s, Geneva, 17 November 1981, lot 183.
The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, Chicago.

NoteThe initials refer to Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II, and to the Dowager Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Nicholas I. A lady-in-waiting serving for both Empresses had the cypher brooch with their two interlaced initials.

Christie's. Sacred and Imperial: The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection Part I, New York, 24 September 2020