A stunning array of jewellery owned by Princess Margaret’s mother-in-law Countess of Rosse is set to go up for auction at Bonhams.
Two pieces, which were formerly part of socialite Anne Parons’ collection, a late 19th century emerald, pearl and diamond bangle, and a mid-19th century onyx cameo, enamel, pearl and diamond bracelet, will go up for sale on 28 April in London – almost three decades after her death in 1992.
The bracelet, which also once belonged to Adrian Hope of the famous Anglo-Dutch banking dynasty, has an estimate of £15,000-20,000 – whilst the bangle has an estimate of £20,000-30,000.
Emily Barber, Head of Bonhams Jewellery Department, UK, commented; ‘The Countess of Rosse was a woman of exquisite taste, and the two pieces offered in the sale clearly express this.
A stunning array of jewellery owned by Princess Margaret’s mother-in-law Countess of Rosse are up for sale at Bonhams. Pictured, the bracelet and the emerald bangle were great favourites of the Countess of Rosse and she was seen wearing them at the marriage of her son Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Lord Snowdon, to HRH The Princess Margaret in 1960 (pictured)
An Emerald and Diamond Ring, by Bulgari. The cut-cornered step-cut emerald weighing 10.04 carats between demilune-shaped diamond shoulders, diamonds approximately 1.25 carats total, signed Bulgari, maker’s mark. Estimate: £180,000 – £250,000
A Late 19th Century Emerald, Pearl and Diamond Bangle. Estimate: £20,000 – £30,000. Set at the front with a polished emerald bead with rose-cut diamond finials, between bouton pearls and old brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in yellow gold, emerald approximately 20.00 carats, diamonds approximately 3.15 carats total, pearls untested, inner diameter of bangle 6.0cm, case with gilded monogram
Mid-19th Century Onyx Cameo, Enamel, Pearl and Diamond Bracelet. Estimate: £15,000-£20,000
The mid-19th century onyx cameo, enamel, pearl and diamond bracelet in particular, is very special – having also formerly been in the collection of Adrian Hope, whose great-niece, Lady Beatrice Lister Kaye, wore it at her wedding in 1880.
In 1935, it featured at another wedding, when Michael Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse, himself a descendent of the illustrious Hopes gave it to his bride, the then Anne Armstrong-Jones.
The bracelet is a fitting marriage token; the lion proffering its paw to Eros is an allegory, expressing that love conquers all.’
The Countess of Rosse was born in 1902, and was the second child of Maud – daughter of the famous Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne – and Leonard Messel.
Making her debut in society in 1922, and often appearing in the photographs of royal and society favourite, Cecil Beaton, Anne Messel’s style was often praised by society columnists.
In 1925, she married Ronald ArmstrongJones, however the pair divorced in 1934, and the following year, she married Michael Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse.
A 19th Century Spinel and Diamond Necklace and Bracelet. Estimate: £150,000 – £250,000.
A Mother-of-Pearl and Diamond ‘Serpenti’ Bracelet, By Bulgari. Estimate: £30,000 – £50,000
Her son from her first marriage, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, later 1st Earl of Snowdon, married Princess Margaret in 1960 – The Countess wore the attention-grabbing Rosse family diamond and emerald parure, comprising a tiara, necklace and earrings, to the wedding.
The Countess was also a leading light in the Victorian Society, which she helped create at the Sambourne family home at 18 Stafford Terrace in 1958, together with John Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner.
This bracelet and the emerald bangle were great favourites of the Countess of Rosse and she may be seen wearing them in many society photographs of her.
She wore them at the marriage of her son Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Lord Snowdon, to HRH The Princess Margaret in 1960 and both are clearly visible, one on each wrist, in their wedding portrait by Cecil Beaton with HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in attendance.
The mid-19th century onyx cameo, enamel, pearl and diamond bracelet is accompanied by a note handwritten on an address card belonging to the Countess of Rosse
Mid-19th Century Onyx Cameo, Enamel, Pearl and Diamond Bracelet. Estimate: £15,000-£20,000. Pictured, detail of the cameo
Other highlights of the sale include: A number of lots containing spinels, a gemstone which has seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years, and for which Bonhams hold the world-record price – which was set in 2015 for the Hope Spinel.
Pieces offered in the sale include a Spinel and Diamond Ring, with an estimate of £10,000-£15,000, and a 19th Century Spinel and Diamond Necklace and Bracelet, expected to featch between £150,000 – £250,000.
The sale will also include Property from an Important Private Collection of Bulgari. Leading the selection is an Emerald and Diamond Ring, which is expected to fetch between £180,000-£250,000.
Other highlights include a Mother-of-Pearl and Diamond ‘Serpenti’ Bracelet, which has an estimate of £30,000-£50,000, a Pair of Emerald and Diamond Pendent Earrings, estimated at £35,000 – 45,000, and an Emerald and Diamond Bracelet, which is expected to fetch anywhere between £55,000- £80,000.