Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sotheby's Auctioning "Crown Jewels"


    Sotheby’s announced its sale of Jewels to take place on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Comprised of 249 lots, the sale is estimated to fetch in excess of £1.3 million.

    The sale will be highlighted by a variety of elegant jewels of great provenance, as well as fine pieces from the collection of Edith, Lady Londonderry and her daughter Lady Mairi Bury. 

    The sale will also feature replicas of some of the Crown Jewels. 

    Commenting on the sale, Alice Montagu Douglas Scott, Specialist, Sotheby’s Jewellery Department, said: “This sale presents an excellent opportunity for collectors to acquire elegant jewels with great provenance from a variety of historical periods - from the 19th century to the present day. We are delighted to offer this array of jewels of great workmanship in our London sale of fine Jewels”. 


    Of particular interest in Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year, replicas of the Crown Jewels comprising the Coronation Crown, Orb and Sceptre will be offered at auction. Estimated at £3,000 – 5,000, they comprise a replica of St Edward’s Crown decorated with coloured pastes, with purple velvet and a fur trim; a replica of the Sovereign’s Sceptre, incorporating a simulant stone representing the Cullinan I; and a replica of the Sovereign's Orb, similarly set. The objects are accompanied by three velvet cushions. 

    Replicas of the Crown Jewels were made around the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in order to travel and to be shown to the Commonwealth countries. The present replica of the Crown Jewels is thought to have been exhibited in New Zealand.

NOTE:  I suspect it’s just me, but I think that anyone in the market for a set of fake “Crown Jewels” (of impeccable provenance!) is psychologically suspect or, to put it more positively, a source of rich material for members of the psychiatry and psychology professions.  Whoever wrote the Sotheby’s press release definitely has a future in politics.

A very nice picture of HRH Queen Elizabeth II meeting students at Leicester University in 1958


  1. The Queen was really something back in the day. She still is. I am very taken by the juxtaposition of her formal portrait with the casual photo taken with students.

  2. I love the lower photo. They say she has a very practiced jeweler's eye. No surprise there, really. Curtis

  3. I have a set of jade and emerald grapes my aunt left to me. :)

  4. You are probably right and my psychological state is as suspect as can be, but gosh, doesn't everyone want to be a monarch? I'm struggling all the time to achieve regal status, albeit in a very limited domain. If only I could crown myself, instead of that other fellow. Come to think of it, given the small size of my intended realm, paste jewels might be even more appropriate than the real thing. Plus, the downside is minimal. Consider it, a crown with no risk attached. Sounds like heaven!

    In addition to having a lovely smile, the Queen seems entirely authentic. That's quite an achievement in any role, and in this one truly remarkable. In fact, I find it impossible to begin to imagine her life from the inside.

    There may be a connection between my first and second paragraphs.

  5. I'm ok with this queen in almost every respect but the blood sport angle, which I simply don't get on anyone anywhere. I can definitely see the advantages to being crowned, responsibilities or not. For one thing, they try to ensure that increased age is accompanied by increased stature (p.r.-wise) and veneration, which differs from, say, my own current situation. But "simulant stone?" I don't think so. As Homey the Clown put it so well: "Homey Don't Play That." Curtis

  6. I've always been in awe of these royal jewels. I'd love to take a gander at some of Sotheby's listings one day. Beautiful antiques!

  7. Thank you for writing and for visiting, Jennifer. I'm glad you liked this and hope you visit and write again soon. Curtis