Antique & Estate Jewelry / Diamonds / Industry

Upcoming Sale Includes Jewelry Once Gifted By Queen Alexandra


On Dec. 7, the Bonhams auction house is hosting its London Jewels sale with 149 lots from a series of single-owner collections. One such collection comes from a descendant of British general Douglas Haig’s wife, Dorothy Maud (née Vivian), known as Countess Haig, and includes a pearl and diamond tiara necklace given to her by Queen Alexandra on the day of their marriage.

Dorothy and her sister Violet were ladies-in-waiting to Queen Alexandra, and the piece (created in 1890) is accompanied by a presentation card from the queen stating “Presented together with ‘Tiara’ to Dorothy Vivian on her Marriage Day July 11th 1905.”

“London Jewels represents best-in-class examples of jewelry design from the 19th and 20th centuries evident in the individual single-owner collections with excellent provenance,” said Bonhams’ global head of jewelry, Jean Ghika, in a statement. “In particular, the pearl and diamond tiara necklace, presented to Countess Haig by Queen Alexandra in 1905 on her wedding day, is a rare survivor from the glamorous Belle Époque era, and highly coveted today. Auctions are the perfect platform to shop sustainably and to discover exquisitely crafted pieces from natural diamonds to antique jewels.”

Bonhams ring
Ring with a 10.9 ct. radiant-cut yellow diamond and shield-cut diamonds, estimate $165,000-$200,000

Aside from that, the sale includes an array of yellow diamonds, including an exceptional natural fancy intense yellow diamond ring leading it. With a 10.9 ct. radiant-cut yellow diamond the piece is expected to achieve anywhere between $165,000 and $200,000. Another notable yellow diamond in the sale is a single-stone brilliant-cut fancy yellow diamond weighing just over 10 cts. and expected to fetch between $63,000 and $88,000. Other designs from renowned houses including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co. will also be available for bidding. 

Pictured at top: tiara necklace (circa 1890) in silver and gold with pearls and approximately 6.5 cts. t.w. diamonds, estimate $18,000-$25,000

(Photos courtesy of Bonhams)

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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