A Family Affair: Queen Victoria's heirloom brooch should get a Royal reception



2015-06-26 12:17:30

A Family Affair: Queen Victoria's heirloom brooch should get a Royal reception

Bonhams' auction in April will chime with interest in regal memorabilia ahead of the Royal wedding

Bonhams have announced that they will be auctioning a very special piece of jewellery, which will have Royal memorabilia collectors salivating - and with the approaching wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the timing is ideal to invest in Britain's first family.

The item for sale is in fact a gold, enamel and garnet brooch which previously belonged to Queen Victoria. Originally crafted in 1830, the brooch formed part of the Queen Mother's collection, which Victoria inherited after her death in 1861.

The iconic monarch, still the longest serving in the nation's history, later gifted the brooch to her third daughter, Helena, on her 24th birthday in 1870. The reverse of the brooch was engraved to mark this, reading, "Belonged to dear Grandmamma V. From Mama V.R. to Helena 25th May 1870."

Princess Helena had married a German Prince - Christian of Schleswig-Holstein - four years prior, but remained in Britain; Victoria was close to her daughters and preferred them to stay nearby, particularly after the death of Prince Albert in 1861.

Queen Victoria' brooch 'Heirloom' - Queen Victoria's family brooch

The Princess was widely considered to be the most active member of the Royal Family, undertaking many official engagements, patronising charities and co-founding the Red Cross and the Royal School of Needlework.

The finely detailed brooch is quite striking and unusual, consisting of an angular, geometric design juxtaposed with classic curves. It is embellished with red and green enamel, and set with cabochon garnets. It has a very reasonable estimate of 600-800 - a modest investment for a Royal memorabilia collector.

The historic piece is set to be auctioned on April 6 - just over three weeks before the big day. Other highlights of the sale include an Art Deco sapphire and diamond bracelet - which has an estimate of 6,000-8,000 - and a brilliant cut diamond, single stone ring, expected to realise the same amount.

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