This necklace, designed as a romantic garland of ivy leaves, set with cushion-shaped and rose-cut diamonds, sold for £44,100. It’s a versatile necklace; the lucky buyer can also wear it as a tiara.
I was keeping my eye on this gorgeous necklace of carved rubies, emeralds and sapphires. It’s in the famous Tutti Frutti style invented by Cartier (though this is not a necklace by Cartier). If money were no option, this is the bauble I would have purchased. It sold for £107,100.
I also find this (possibly late 18th century) diamond brooch absolutely beautiful and would gladly wear it every day were it mine. It sold for £138,600.
Queen Victoria’s enamel and diamond pendant that she commissioned in memory of her beloved daughter, Princess Alice, fetched £25,200. It’s quite a historic piece because it belonged to Queen Victoria and the pendant contains hair, probably Alice’s.
And just for fun, this little Parisian diamond and ruby evening handbag in the style of a pig sold for a whopping £109,620. Presale it was estimated between £2,000 and £3,000. I am not certain if I’d wear a handbag in the shape of a pig, but I could be persuaded were you to offer me a pig studded with rubies and diamonds.
You can view the sold auction lots over at Sotheby’s. You can also view the auction catalog of the magnificent collection. The catalog includes Mountbatten family history and detailed family trees that may be of interest to you.
Next month Sotheby’s is auctioning incredible jewelry from the collection of the late Countess Mountbatten of Burma (1924-2017). With an illustrious name like Mountbatten, we can’t just delve right into the jewels. Let’s dig into the family genealogy first, shall we?
The 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma was born Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten in 1924. She was the eldest daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979) and his wife, the equally illustrious, Edwina Ashley (1900-1960). If the Mountbatten name seems familiar to you, it’s because Patricia’s father was Britain’s last Viceroy of India, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was killed by the IRA in 1979. After her father’s assassination, Patricia inherited his peerage in her own right making her the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
Patricia was a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, through her father. The Earl of Mountbatten’s parents were Prince Louis of Battenberg (Mountbatten is the anglicized version of Battenberg and was changed in response to anti-German sentiments) and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine.
Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine was a grandchild of Queen Victoria through her mother, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. Louis Mountbatten’s sister was Princess Alice, later Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. This made Patricia a first cousin to Prince Philip.
Patricia married John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne (1924-2005) in 1946. They had eight children together and by all accounts were happily married for almost sixty years. After Patricia’s death, her eldest son, Norton, inherited her title becoming the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
Now let’s take a look at a few items on the auction block.
On the auction block is this hardstone, enamel and diamond pendant made by goldsmith and jeweler Robert Phillips. It was probably commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1878 in memory of her daughter, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (the grandmother of Earl Mountbatten). It was a terrible shock to Queen Victoria to lose her daughter in 1878. She was Victoria’s first child to die and was only 35 years old. Alice left behind her husband and five children. (Another child died of the same illness, diphtheria, right before Alice.)
It makes sense to me that Queen Victoria commissioned an object to commemorate her second daughter. The back of the pendant has a locket which contains hair, probably Princess Alice’s. The engraved date is Alice’s death. (Sadly, Alice’s family would endure more tragedy forty years later when two of her daughters, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Tsarina Alexandra, were killed by the Bolsheviks.) Sotheby’s estimates the pendant might fetch between £2,000 and £3,000, but my guess is a higher number.
Also on the auction block is this elegant 18th century brooch brought into the family via the Knatchbulls. The center stone is a cushion-shaped yellow diamond. Sotheby’s estimates the sale to be between £40,000 and £60,000.
This lovely gem and diamond necklace dates from the 1950s. It’s set with carved rubies, emeralds and sapphires and circular cut diamonds. It’s not by Cartier, but it’s in the style of the firm’s famous Tutti Frutti jewelry. Sotheby’s estimates the jewel to sell between £40,000 and £60,000.
Also up for auction is a pair of gem set and diamond clip brooches in the Tutti Frutti inspiration, circa 1930s. The clips match the necklace perfectly, don’t you think? Sotheby’s estimates the sale to bring in between £10,000 and £15,000.
The tiara, in the shape of forget-me-nots and anemones, is set with oval and cushion-shaped sapphires and surrounded by circular-cut and cushion-shaped diamonds. The matching hair ornament can also be worn as a pendant. The set was sold by Sotheby’s in 2017 for $240,716.
Recently, Sotheby’s sold at their annual Royal & Noble auction a diamond brooch for £5,292.
The brooch is not marked by a specific jeweler, so it’s difficult to ascertain its maker or country of origin. However, it was listed as “Property of a Lady of Title” giving the diamond brooch an aristocratic, possibly even royal, provenance.
The total diamond weight is approximately 4.50 to 5.50 carats and was made circa 1800 or later. The brooch is designed in the shape of a flower and mounted en tremblant, which was the preferred jewelry style of that time period.
I think it’s stunning and I’d wear it in a heartbeat. I hope the lucky buyer enjoys it immensely.