Auctions

These Jewels Gifted by Queen Victoria Are Heading to Auction

AuctionsOct 22, 2020

These Jewels Gifted by Queen Victoria Are Heading to Auction

There’s a diamond, emerald and ruby locket and a 19th-century pearl and diamond brooch/pendant, both gifts to her goddaughters.

Queen Victoria gave this ruby, emerald and diamond locket to her goddaughter, Lady Victoria Scott, for her wedding in 1865. It’s heading to auction next month in the U.K., where it’s expected to sell for up to $6,600.

Cambridge, U.K.—She was a queen whose long reign still holds fascination for many, and jewels she gave as gifts are sure to generate interest when they go up for auction next month.

On Nov. 5, independent auction house Cheffins will sell pieces of jewelry Queen Victoria gave to her goddaughters.

Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover, served as queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901.

One of the queen’s good friends was Charlotte Anne Thynne, her Mistress of the Robes (senior lady in the queen’s household who looks after the monarch’s clothes and jewelry) from 1841 onward.

Thynne married Walter Francis Montague Douglas Scott, the fifth Duke of Buccleuch, on March 13, 1829, and the couple became close with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who regularly visited their home in Dalkeith, Scotland.

Their daughter, Victoria Alexandria Montagu Douglas Scott, was Queen Victoria’s goddaughter.

The Queen gave Lady Victoria Scott a locket set with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies when she married Schomberg Henry Kerr, ninth Marquess of Lothian, in 1865.

The piece, pictured at the top of the article, is monogrammed with “VR” on the front and has a personal engraving that reads: “To Lady Victoria Scott, on her marriage Feb y, 23 1865 from Victoria R.”

It has a pre-sale estimate of between £3,000 and £5,000 (about $3,900 to $6,600 at current exchange rates).

Queen Victoria also gave jewelry to Lady Victoria Scott’s daughter, Victoria Alexandrina Alberta Kerr, who was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and also was one of her goddaughters.


To celebrate the child’s christening, the queen gifted a 19th-century pearl and diamond brooch/pendant, available at the sale with an estimate of £4,000 to £6,000 (about $5,300 to $7,900).

It is seen at the bottom of the picture at right.

The piece comes in an original fitted case with an applied shield.

The shield is engraved with “To Lady Victoria Alexandrina Alberta Kerr from her Godmother VICTORIA R 11 December 1876.” There is also a cased portrait miniature of Victoria Kerr, and accompanying letters from her mother and Queen Victoria.

Also available in the sale is a portrait miniature of Charlotte Thynne, Duchess of Buccleuch, attributed to painter Robert Thorburn, estimated to garner between £600 and £800 (about $800 to $1,100).

The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch eventually sponsored Thorburn, who moved to London in 1836 at age 15 to study at the Royal Academy.

He quickly became a favorite of the queen, who commissioned him to do many miniatures.

“Any jewelry with royal connections is always an exciting find when it surfaces on the art market, and these pieces come with cast-iron provenance from direct descent of the family,” said Steven Collins, head of Jewellery, Silver and Watches at Cheffins.

“Never before seen on the open market, these items are historically important, demonstrating Queen Victoria’s love for her two goddaughters and her close friendship with the Buccleuch family back in 19th century.”

The pieces will be featured in a sale called “Carats and Clarets – The Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Wine Sale” at Cheffins in Cambridge, U.K.

To view the full catalog, visit Cheffins.co.uk.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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