Anita Delgado: The Spanish princess of Kapurthala

Back in the beginning of the 20th century, a powerful member of the royalty met a really beautiful – but modest origins- lady. He fell in love with her almost inmediately. Without much hesitation, he asked her to marry him. So far, this looks like the typical story through the years, but in this case, to Anita Delgado (born in Malaga in 1890) was not fiction, but the summary of her life.

When she still was young, she left her job as a singer in Madrid to get married to the maharajah of Capurthala. Anita was a “cupletista” for a living (kind of traditional singer in Spain). She used to work with her sister. Both were the duet “Camelias Sisters”. Back then she was only 16, but her life radically changed soon enough.


During the King Alfonso the 13th got married, she was hired as a singer. The rajah saw her on his way to the Royal Palace. To him it was a first sight love. According to Elisa Vázquez, princess of Kapurthala’s biographer, the maharajah arrived in an impressive carriage, wearing plenty of jewelry and a turban. But he couldn’t look apart from Anita. After just a few days, one of his assistants came with a petition of marriage. He asked her to go to Paris together with her family to plan the wedding.

She said yes. The scenerio, the French capital became this way into part of this amazing story. It was there where they got married before they moved to Bombay, the trip of her life. The fact that the maharajah already had others wives and sons didn’t matter to Anita.

After the wedding, she oficially was titled the first wife. The couple – that used to frequently travel to Europe – was always followed and admired by photographers of the time.

Anita had a boy, Ajit, and she was living a life of royal parties, receptions, trips and a very strict protocol. The many pictures of the time show a very elegant woman with a remarkable look.


Over those years, the Spanish princess wrote a diary that finally was published: The impressions of my trips to India. Her sister’s death (she still was very close to her) and many health issues – including a miscarriage and a long convalescence far from her husband – ruined what seemed to be a perfect life.

Anita ended up separating from the maharajah and came back to Europe. Over there, she had a very hectic social life, always in touch with intelectuals and celebrities until the II World War.

Anita spent the rest of her days with Gines Rodriguez, who she met many years before when she still lived in Malaga. She always wanted to write her memories, but death came in 1962 and she couldn’t make it.

The legacy of her memos, photos, missives and other documents went to her niece Victoria, who trust Elisa Vazquez to be the oficial biographer of Anita’s life. Her fascinating life has also inpired the writer Javier Moro, author of Indian Passion.


The Vintage by Lopez-Linares “Floss”

Over the past few months I’ve been thinking of adding to our Historic Jewelry collection a line of vintage headdresses. However it’s not easy at all since I’m looking for very special hair ornaments. Maybe I’m too demanding… But our space is very special and unique.

A couple of months ago I found by chance this picture, and I love the headdresses from the very first look.

It’s just what I was looking for!


An elegant, timeless and easy-to-wear piece that could be decorated with the many vintage accessories we have in our space. Our collection of brooches, earrings, ribbons, laces or buttons is so huge that headdresses might be a fantastic way of showing them.

The ideal image is a beautiful miniature in watercolour over ivory by the English artista Reginald Easton and represents Bessie Florence “Floss” Scarlett Gibson.

The lady is sat in front of a beach, wearing a dress in beige color over a white shirt and a bow in brown. The perfect combination is the rose she wears in her breast and her head dressed with a little headdress in sheep skin fabric and decorated with a brooch with diamonds. That piece has been the inspiration for most of our haddresses.


The story behind this lady is a bit sad though. She was the only daughter of the Honorable Ruth Hester Frances Scarlett. After her mother passed, Floss was adopted by her aunt Jane Gibson. She and her husband never had the chance to give birth.

In February 1871, Floss got married with the Coronel Leopold James Scarlett, a member of the Scoth Guard. The couple had six sons and a daughter.

During her life, Floss got her heart broken several times, since she ouslasted her husband and four of her sons. The youngest dead in an Australian submarine in 1914, whe he only was 29.


She spent the last years of her life almost totally isolated in the Penenden House in Boxley. Her daughter Ruth and her sons Hugh and Percy ouslasted her.

We’ve called this collection Floss, after this beautiful and brave woman who lived her maturity in England, during the 20’s.

The Vintage by Lopez-Linares “Floss” take us back to an era when women had to fight for her better life.


With “T” for “Tiara”

First of all, I’d like to differentiate “tiara” from “diadem”, although the origin is the same. The best place to wear a tiara is the front of the head, where it’ll be better seen. A diadem is placed on top of the head to hold the hair.

This is an elegant and fascinating jewelry usually linked to old European royal families that played a relevant role in History. Many of these tiaras were dissambled when they stopped being in style and added the gems to other jewels.


Romans played a very important role in the evolution of the tiaras. They started this fashion and used precious stones like amethysts, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds to make them. In Greece, on the contrary, they were made out of leaves and flowers. Their designs are used still nowadays.

Lately, the tiara has been adapted to be used in weddings. It’s the most elegant and sophisticated jewel for a bride since it’ll give her a especial shine that day. In my humble opinion there’s nothing that can make the bride feels so especial like tiaras. For many this is the only time in their lives when they’ll wear a jewel like this.


This habit – top the head of a bride in her wedding day, that is – has a meaning: The loss of her inocence and the triumph of love.

It’s also frequent to see how has been used the “language of flowers” through the years, as well as the “language of the stones”. That is something a jewelry artist has in mind when makeing new designs. The selection of the stones is particularly very important, since according to the old tradition of the lapidary, each stone has a meaning. Exactly the same happens with flowers. That is why the flower design and colors are so important in making tiaras, especially those made for brides.

tiara-diccionari-vintage-by-lopez-linares-(7)Let me give you a bite of the principal meanings:




Images: María Vintage Photography 

Over two centuries of bridal fashion

Let me give you today a very special recommended plan: an exhibition that was opened last March at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. Among its walls the luckiest readers who happen to live in London or around will be able to learn the history of the classical wedding dress since it became popular among brides-to-be in the end of the 18th century. I don’t live close enough but I’d really love paying a visit, so I’ll do so through your eyes.

The best designers over the year like Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, John Galiano, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang will guide you with their over 70 designs through the evolution of this costume that will ever be fashionable: a wedding dress in pure white or in the most sensual ivory.

3 Silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman hartnell in 1933 - Victoria and Albert Museum London - Vintage By Lopez-Linares recommendation

The exhibition tells the astonishing story of each one of the 70 dresses, starting back in 1775 until today, and include new acquisitions like the purple dress worn by Dita Von Teese for her marriage with Marilyn Manson and the one worn by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale on their wedding day.

Besides enjoying these pieces of art, the V&A Museum has planned events regarding the bridal collection. Evening talks, workshops or romantic concerts will give the show even more spectacular nature. If you want to know the upcoming events, go to Wedding Dresses 1775-2014: Events (just click over the link to go to the page straight away)


I wish I could go for instance to the workshop with the award-wining writer Julie Cohen as a speaker, who will please the visitors with an introduction to basics of romantic writing. Or… Why not? Listening to the Britain’s most acclaimed fashion designer Bruce Oldfield. And my favorite workshop: Learning how to use a Victorian tiara, like a real queen would do.

The show will be opened until the next March 15th 2015, which means you, who live in the UK, have time enough to go for a visit, enjoy all its details and get amazed with each piece. And of course, I’ll be waiting for you to tell me your experience on comments! You’ll be my eyes…

Here’s the link to the website with more information about timetable and tickets availability. Enjoy your visit!

Wedding Dresses 1775-2014: Visitor & Ticket Information

Images source: Victorian and Albert Museum and Arabia Style Fashion

With D: for Diadem

According to the legend, the Greek Dionysus was who first invented the head decoration called nowadays band. Actually the word diadem (as a band synonym) comes from “diadein” (old Greek) meaning “to bind around”.

Before the metallurgy evolution a few old civilizations like the Etruscans and the Scythians used to make wreaths out of flowers and leaves to adorn their heads.

Over the years their skills and techniques evolved to change their temporary flower wreaths for other bands more crafted and long-lasting. Nowadays flowers on diadems remind the ancestral meaning of diadems.

We nowadays distinguish between tiara and diadem, its origins are the same though. A diadem is an open ring stuck to the head used mostly to keep the hair out of the face. The tiara instead goes upper and depending on the size, dess up better in the front side of the head.

Although it’s said that during special events some men used to wear gold diadems in the old times, this kind o jewel is more usual among women.

Today we can find diadems made in plastic rimmed, metal, gold or silver. The first group are usually worn as a head-dress decorated with feathers, felt or even laces in different colours. On the other hand tiaras, usually made in gold, silver or precious and semi-precious gems are worn in very unique moments and weddings.

The diadems I’m using to illustrate this post have been made in silver and zircons, with glaze and freshwater pearls.




Downton Abbey

The third season of “Downtown Abbey” starts today. The famous Anglo drama series has been a resounding success with both its Spanish and International audiences.

The truth is that it doesn’t surprise me: from the cast’s acting to the atmosphere and costumes, all the series’ details are so perfect that they manage to transport you to early Twentieth Century England without you even noticing. If we add some great English actors to this, the series would become a must-see success, even if it were purely just for your enjoyment.

The first chapter of the third season had over nine million viewers in theUnited Kingdom. It began with the long awaited wedding between Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley, something that everyone who saw the first part was dying to see happen.

And here is where my eyes really lit up. When I saw the photographs of the wedding on the internet at the end of September, the first thing that caught my attention was the tiara that Mary wore. The series’ costume designers went in search of one of the most famous antiquarians ofEngland, Bentley & Skinner, specialists in antique jewellery; the result of this search was a Georgian tiara created for Lady Mary’s walk down the altar.

Bentley is an English jeweller who has had a shop since 1934, specializing in antique pieces from the late Nineteenth Century. He managed to become very famous a few years ago when he created a diamond-covered skull for the artist Damien Hirst. The piece reached a £50million sale price.

The brand ‘Skinner’ served QueenVictoriaduring the Nineteenth Century. Bentley & Skinner was founded in 1997 due to the union of both houses.

The sensational headdress is covered in traditionally carved diamonds, mounted in 45 karat yellow gold and silver; it is valued at £125000. The piece transforms into a brooch and diadem.

So now you can imagine the first thing that passed through my head… I wanted that tiara! I wanted it in my hands and I wanted it before the Spanish audience was able to see it. I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it the very same day that the series was released.

Neither did I let the bride’s dress out of my sight, designed by the manager of all the series’ costumes, Caroline MacCall. It appears that the dress has been the most expensive order made for the series, seeing that only the making of it cost nearly over £4000. It’s a beautiful Twenties style dress made from silver lace and embroidered with Swarovski crystal and rice pearls. A design that more than one Twenty-first Century bride would be thrilled to wear.

And this is exactly what we’ve done. We have recreated Lady Mary’s wedding in the very heart ofMadrid. We have reproduced her tiara, and now, in our window display, an exultant mannequin sports the tiara along with an original Twenties bride’s dress.

If you want to enjoy this gem, photograph it or simply contemplate the beauty of a bridal outfit from the previous Century, make sure you pass by and take a look at our window display. It will be on show until the end of the year.

Don’t miss out, we’re waiting for you!

Interesting links:

















A Tiara designed by Miriam Haskell from 1930

When we choose a piece of jewellery for our shop, it is because it transmits something special and magical to one of the three of us. It seems incredible, yet we usually coincide in our choices. It is curious that being so different we always coincide at the hour of choosing the pieces that are to enter in our space.

Although there are some pieces that we fall in love with more than others, each one has its fetish piece that will never be sold and that captivates us at first sight.

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite pieces. It is a bride’s tiara by Miriam Haskell. It inspired me as soon as I saw it; it appeared to be of such a sublime delicacy and exquisiteness. When I held it for the first time, the first thing I thought was, why would somebody want to rid themselves of such a proud and delicate piece? It was surely a special commission for some youth in the Thirties. I am sure that she would have fallen in love with the jewel at first sight, just as I did.

For those of you that do not know Miriam Haskell, I will tell you that this design and business visionary was born in 1899 under the wing of a family of Jewish immigrants fromRussia. Her family managed to reach a rather well-off position for the time. Miriam studied at theChicagoUniversityfor 3 years before moving toNew Yorkwith 500 dollars in her pocket, most probably lent to her by her family.

Soon after arriving she managed to establish herself at the Mc Alplin Hotel, which in these times was the biggest hotel in the world, holding a capacity for 2500 people. The hotel was situated right in the heart ofNew   York City. There she opened a small shop where she sold jewellery from the famous designers of the period.


Miriam immediately decided to launch her own firm and contracted the services of Frank Hess, a young window dresser with an unusual aesthetic sense and taste for the time. Frank would rapidly become the brand’s Creative Director. He had a rather complex personality and his shyness made him feel more comfortable working in the workshop between sketches and stones, than attending the uncountable clients that visited his shop desiring to be attended by him personally. He was a very peculiar character, known for his tall top hats and his silver handled cane. He was very demanding with his employees.

On the other hand, Miriam was a vey attractive, elegant and intelligent woman and when she was in the role of the brand’s public relations, she was in her element. In this way they complemented each other perfectly.

They managed to become a great success in a very short time. In 1930 they were already rubbing shoulders with the most select and influential people in the artistic and social circles, so much in Europe as in Hollywood and New York. Women of the scale and influence of Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball or the Duchess of Windsor wore Miriam Haskell’s designs at these great parties.

In the Fifties Miriam fell into a deep depression, her state meant that the company fell into her brother’s hands. She never went back to work and retired soon after the end of the war, it is said that she was influenced by the horrors of the war itself and didn’t manage to overcome the disasters that she had lived. Frank continued to work in the company until he retired in 1960.

Currently, it is rather difficult to find pieces from the brand’s first period and the prices tend to be rather high.

Although the company continues making marvellous pieces of jewellery, many of them inspired by Miriam and Franks great collections, for me, they do not match up to the delicacy and sensitivity of the pieces made by them in those golden years. They made a magnificent “tandem” and knew how to transmit their enthusiasm and illusion to all the women of the time.

I will leave you a link to the brand’s current page so that you can judge for yourselves:

The following photographs that I have attached for you are hand coloured prints by the artist Larry Austin. They are illustrations made between 1930 and 1940 and were used to promote the brand in shops and jewellers from all over the world. In them we are able to appreciate the beauty of some of the most sophisticated pieces.

Had you ever heard anyone speak of Miriam Haskell before?


If you were Kate Middleton would you sport the Spencer Tiara on your Wedding Day?

There is a lot of speculation happening during these weeks about the possibility that Kate Middleton will wear the Spencer Tiara on the day of her wedding to Prince William ofEngland. A few days ago, even the magazine “Hola” dedicated an interesting coverage to the famous tiara.

Since Princess Diana’s death the jewel has not been seen in public, remaining in the hands of its current owner, Count Spencer in “Althorp House”, where one can admire it in all its splendour.

This magnificent jewel has not been worn as a tiara for all that long. Due to this, one cannot really consider it to be a family relic, as seen as its history is rather recent. The evolution of this piece starts in 1919 when Lady Sarah Spencer, the single sister of the sixth Count of Spencer, gave a beautiful piece of jewellery to her niece in-law, Cynthia, as a wedding gift to her marriage with Albert Edward. Cynthia and Albert would later become the seventh Counts of Spencer, and Lady Diana’s grandparents (on the paternal line).

This jewel, which would be received by Diana’s grandmother as a wedding gift, was a sparkling piece in the shape of a tulip, and it would be the part that would later become the central piece of the famous tiara.

However it wasn’t until 1937 that the tiara was really converted into the jewel that we know today, and that many years later would be sported by Lady Diana. This year, four more elements were added by the prestigious English jeweller Garrard. We know that the cost of this alteration was 125 sterling pounds at the time.

Coincidentally, that same year and in the same jewellers, Queen Elizabeth II subjected the Imperial Crown that she would wear on the day of her coronation, to a few alterations. Would the two tiaras coincide in the hands of the same goldsmith during those days?

Only the two small elements that were decorated at the end of the tiara were truly antique. It is believed that they belonged to a tiara from the French Viscount of Montagu, and that they were inherited by Lady Sarah Spencer in 1875.

It doesn’t seem logical that such a significant day in the English Monarchy’s history, such as the wedding of its future King, the Queen of England would favourably view the fact that the Bride displays a jewel that doesn’t belong to the British crown. It seems fit to wait for the opposite to happen, that the Queen would give one of her magnificent tiaras as a gift to the future wife of her beloved grandson. There by the bride that would one day succeed her as the Queen of England would wear one of the pieces from the Royal House’s collection on such an important occasion.

In the supposed case that William would desire to pay a posthumous tribute to his mother, he would be obliged to ask his uncle for the loan of this famous tiara, as seen as the current Count of Spencer is its legitimate owner.

William had wanted to have his mother present when presenting Kate with the same engagement ring that Lady Di received from the hands of his father on the day of their engagement in February 1981. The jewel is a magnificent ring, with an oval-shaped 14 karat Ceylon Sapphire with a surrounding halo of 14 shining stones, mounted over white gold by the famous jewellers, Garrards. This jewel was chosen by Queen Elizabeth and her son Charles for the significant date. Its price was 28000 sterling pounds.

The Spencer tiara is a truly dignified jewel for a Queen, however it is also true that perhaps Lady Di’s controversial figure should allow Kate to be the protagonist on an occasion this important, if it is finally decided that the same tiara is to be worn as on the day of her wedding.

What would you do?