05 March 2020

Scottish Noble Jewels for Sale

Sotheby's

Later this month, Sotheby's in London will hold an auction that features several impressive pieces offered by an unnamed Scottish noble family. Here's a look at a few of the highlights so far...



Sotheby's


The lot notes describe this diamond brooch, which dates to around the 1880s, as being "in the form of a lyre of foliate inspiration, set with cushion-shaped diamonds." It reminds me a bit of the brooches that formed the Poltimore Tiara, and the estimate of the brooch's age would suggest they were made around the same time. (Estimate: £5,000 — £7,000)


Sotheby's


This bracelet, a serpent design that was popular in the nineteenth century, features "turquoise enamel, highlighted with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds" and "eyes set with cabochon rubies." The piece comes in a case bearing the name Hunt and Roskell, a British firm that began doing business under that name in the 1840s, and the bracelet is dated to the mid-nineteenth century. (Estimate: £4,000 — £6,000)


Sotheby's


These three brooches, made of diamonds and emeralds, date to the second half of the nineteenth century. The lot notes describe the largest brooch as "a floral spray of dog rose and lily-of-the-valley," and the smaller two as "the head of a dog rose, set with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, each set with a step-cut emerald." (Estimate: £7,000 — £9,000)


Sotheby's


The lot notes describe this simple but sparkling piece as a "navette-shaped brooch set with cushion-, pear-shaped and rose diamonds." Like many of the pieces being offered by this unnamed family, it dates to the middle of the nineteenth century. (Estimate: £7,000 — £9,000)


Sotheby's


How's this for something different??? This unusual and magnificent suite of jewels features turquoises that have been carved into detailed cameos featuring "triumphal and Bacchanalian scenes" and set in gold and diamonds. The set, made in the middle of the nineteenth century, includes a necklace and a coordinating pair of earrings. (Estimate: £7,000 — £9,000)


Sotheby's


This final highlight isn't part of the collection of Scottish noble jewels, but I couldn't keep myself from including it anyway! If the lot notes on this one are correct, it's quite rare: a tiara that dates to the 1790s. That would be extremely early for a jewel of this design. The lot notes don't give us much additional information, noting simply that the piece is of "scrolling design, set with rose diamonds in closed settings." It's being offered by "a lady." (Estimate: £24,000 — £28,000)