To remember and honour the identities of the women that inspire us and whose stories we wish to celebrate, we have named each piece of jewellery after a female pioneer at the forefront of Italian history.
This necklace pays homage to the Tuscan noblewoman Virginia Oldoini, whose affair with Napoleon to this day has afforded her an undeserving reputation.
To remedy this pitfall, we strive to honour and remember Oldioni as one of the first active female diplomats in Italy. Married in 1854 to Count Francesco Verasis di Castiglione, a courtier at King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia-Piedmont’s court in Turin, she possessed an undeniable charm and sharp wit. The Italian prime minister the Count di Cavour, understood the political possibilities of such a captivating woman and sent her on an ambassador’s mission to Paris in February 1856. Oldoini quickly won the heart of the French court of Napoleon III, upon whom she exercised considerable influence, many alleged due to her status as his mistress. In Paris her clever politicking contributed to important diplomatic accomplishments. Suffering, like many women, the fate of historical erasion, her precise political impact remains obscure as her diplomatic correspondence is believed to have been purposely destroyed.