On Wednesday 21st June 1989 Christie's King Street sold the 'Harcourt Emeralds' - a magnificent emerald and diamond necklace composed of thirteen step-cut emeralds with three-stone diamond links - for £1,870,000. This remarkable necklace was worn at the 1937 coronation of King George VI by the Dowager Viscountess Harcourt.
However, it was the beautiful Harcourt tiara that completed the majestic image of the Dowager Viscountess, and that of her daughter, Lady Ashburton (pictured above), who later wore the same tiara at the coronation of Her Majesty the Queen in 1953. Lady Ashburton (1900-1981), née Doris Mary Therese Harcourt, was the elder sister of William, second Viscount Harcourt. She married the Hon. Alexander Baring, later sixth Baron Ashburton, in 1924, the father of the present owner.
The emeralds themselves have a fascinating provenance: they originally descended from Mary Hayes Burns, the sister of the banker J. Pierpont Morgan, to her daughter Mary, who married Lewis, first Viscount Harcourt, in 1899. The tiara dates from their wedding.
With over a hundred years of aristocratic and royal associations, and coming down to us with a continuous family provenance, this splendid jewel is one of the outstanding and illustrious tiaras of English history.
THE PROPERTY OF THE HON. ROBIN BARING
D Scarisbrick, Tiara, Chronicle Books, 2000, p.116-117
The HRD Treasury Exhibition Catalogue 1997, Antwerp, p.28-29
Post Lot Text
END OF SALE