Mary Stewart – Theatre Jewelry

I was asked to make jewelry for the two main characters of the piece. Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary of Scotland. For the Elizabeth part I made jewelry for two different costumes. The first was based on this portrait, The Phoenix Portrait, it was painted by Nicholas Hilliard ca 1575. I was asked to create my version of the headdress and the necklace. In the following pictures you can see the result.

Stage photo where you can see the sunray tiara and necklace in use.

Components of the necklace before it was assembled.

The necklace taking form.

The finished piece.

Together with the chain necklace, it was worn as can be seen in Hilliard's painting.

Necklace and tiara.

This is "The Ditchley Portrait", c.1592,
by Marcus Gheeraerts, the Younger.

For this costume I was asked to build the framework for the standing collar, make the little collar pendants, the necklace, the hair ornaments, the crown and the ornamental chain on the bodice and around the waistline. Here it was important that it would look as close as the original painting as possible. It was quite a challenge, but I loved it. In the next few pictures you will see how I did.

This is a picture of how I worked with the project, I made a plan how to produce the object, in this case the crown, I sent the plan to the scenographer who also was responsible for the costumes, to have it approved. After that I could start to construct the piece. This is pretty much how I always work with comission work.

The crown.

The crown mounted on the wig.

Here is the final result. I made the frame for the standing collar, the pendants hanging from the collar, the crown, the pearl ornaments in the hair, the little orb hanging by the left ear, the necklace, the bodice edge ornament and the girdle.

the hair ornament orb.

One of the pendants that was later suspended from the standing collar.

The necklace.

Here you can see how close we got to the original painting. It shows even better in the little video you can find a link for in the description of this set.

A few of the components I made.

The girdle.

For the Queen Mary part I was asked to make a rosary looking as close as possible to this 16th century rosary that is said to have belonged to Mary Stewart. It was fun to have a real object to try to copy. In the next picture you can see my version of it.

This is my version of Queen Mary's rosary.

Detail of the back of the crucifix. I had no idea what it looked like, but I added a French lily as Mary was also Queen of France.

I also made a big chaplet for the Maria Stuart part, this is the portrait I based it on. Regretfully I never took any good photos of it, but in the following pictures you can see some stage photos.


In 2009 I was asked to make jewelry for a production of Schiller’s “Mary Stewart”, set up buy the city theatre of Malmö – Sweden. This is the result.

The detail photos of the pieces are my own, the production photos are owned by the theatre and are used with permission.

At the end of the clip below you can see some of the jewelry as it looked on stage.


Malmö City Theatre – Sweden