LATE 19TH CENTURY DIAMOND RIVIÈRE NECKLACE
FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JNR AND HIS SECOND WIFE MARY LEE EPLING, AND THENCE BY DESCENT
LATE 19TH CENTURY DIAMOND RIVIÈRE NECKLACE

Details
LATE 19TH CENTURY DIAMOND RIVIÈRE NECKLACE
Old-cut diamonds, silver and gold, 38.5cm, circa 1880
Post lot text
Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jnr (1909 – 2000) the American actor, socialite and businessman, was born in New York City in 1909, the only child of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully.

Fairbanks's father was one of cinema's first icons, noted for such swashbuckling adventure films as The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Thief of Bagdad. Douglas Fairbanks Jnr followed his father into acting gaining a contract with Paramount Pictures at the age of 13, and going on to appear in approximately 75 films including the Prisoner of Zenda (1939), Gunga Din (1939), The Corsican Brothers (1942) and Sinbad the Sailor (1947).

During the Second World War Fairbanks Jnr became a United Stated Navy officer and had a distinguished war record. He received the Silver Star Medal and Legion of Merit from the US, the Légion d’honneur and Croix de Guerre with Palm from France and the Distinguished Service Cross from Britain. In 1949 he was made an Honorary Knight of the British Empire for "furthering Anglo-American amity”.

Douglas Fairbanks Jnr retired from cinema in the early 1950s and having returned to Britain spent many years in London where he became friendly with the Royal family. From this point onwards his acting was largely confined to television and the occasional foray onto the stage.

Fairbanks Jnr was married three times, firstly to the actress Joan Crawford from 1929 – 1933 and lastly from 1991 to Vera Shelton. On 22nd April 1939, Fairbanks married Mary Lee Hartford (née Mary Lee Epling), a former wife of Huntington Hartford, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company supermarket heir, he remained devoted to her until her death in 1988. Together they had three daughters, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren

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Keith Penton
Keith Penton

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