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Brooch that Belonged to Queen Victoria Reigns Over Bonhams Jewellery Sale
The finely detailed brooch is embellished with green and red enamel, set with cabochon garnets that suspend an elongated drop of a similar design. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- A gold, enamel and garnet bodice brooch from 1830 that belonged to Queen Victoria made fourteen times its pre-sale estimate at Bonhams Jewellery Sale that took place yesterday (April 6th) in Knightsbridge. With a pre-sale estimate of £600 – 800, the brooch sold for £11,400.

The finely detailed brooch is embellished with green and red enamel, set with cabochon garnets that suspend an elongated drop of a similar design.

The brooch originally belonged to Victoria, Duchess of Kent, who on her death in 1861 (the same year as the death of Prince Albert) left her jewellery to her daughter, Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria subsequently gave the brooch to her third daughter Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, as a present on her 24th birthday in 1870. The reverse of the brooch has a simple, yet very personal engraving: “Belonged to dear Grandmamma V. From Mama V.R. to Helena 25th May 1870."

Although Princess Helena married the German Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein in 1866, they remained in Britain close to the Queen, who liked to have her daughters nearby.

Helena was considered the most active member of the royal family, carrying out an extensive programme of royal engagements. She was also a committed patron of charities, and was one of the founding members of the Red Cross. She was also the original president of the Royal School of Needlework, and president of the Royal British Nurses' Association.



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