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Crowning glories exhibited in Zurich

One of the crowns made by Robbe & Berking for European monarchs

(Keystone)

Three of Zurich's top silverware stores - Robbe & Berking, Ditting and Meister Silber - are staging exhibitions of crowns and coronets made by them for royal families since the 19th century.

Werner Brändle, the director of Robbe & Berking, told swissinfo: "Until now, we have been very discreet about our royal customers. But then last year, during our 125th anniversary celebrations, we decided to organise an exhibition of crowns, to show the links between ourselves and royalty."

The variety of crowns is impressive. Some tower upwards while others are much more modest affairs.

"Some are original but most are replicas. Nearly all them are European but some are from other continents, and we have examples from China and Nigeria," said Brändle. "The most expensive was made for an Austria ruler.

"I think that in the past, kings and queens must have had bigger heads because when I tried on a few of the crowns they almost came down to my nose," he added.

The royal headwear is on display until November 18.

by Tom O'Brien

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