A highlight of our upcoming Select Jewellery & Watches auction, on 03 June 2015, is a selection of wonderful period pieces from the collection of June Gordon, 4th Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair (lots 204 to 210). A collection that comes with connections to two of the most illustrious Royal Families of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Born Beatrice Mary June Boissier in 1913 on the Isle of Wight, June’s grandfather was Honorary Chaplain to Queen Victoria who often resided at nearby Osborne House. His daughters became close friends with Princess Beatrice. One of them, May, was a companion to her daughter Princess Ena, later Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, at the time of Queen Victoria’s death at Osborne. Another, Dorothy, was gifted the exquisite mid-19th century Spanish ruby, pearl and enamel pendant cross (illustrated) by Queen Ena on the occasion of her wedding in 1909. This piece later passed to her daughter June.
June Boissier met her husband, David Gordon, 4th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, while at Harrow, where her father was headmaster. They later married in April 1939 and moved north to Haddo House in Aberdeenshire. Haddo, the seat of the Earls and Marquesses of Aberdeen for over 500 years, has a rich history of its own; it was the home of former Prime Minister George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, and later Haddo served as a maternity hospital for evacuated mothers during World War II. On the occasion of her wedding, June was presented with a beautiful Edwardian diamond and amethyst fringe necklace (lot 205 - illustrated right and below) by her mother in law, Lady Dudley Gordon; typical of the Edwardian style which has become so popular.
Also featuring in the collection are other pieces bought from Isle of Wight jewellers during their time in service to the Royal household (including lot 204); and an unusual late 19th century sapphire and diamond set swag brooch (lot 206). It is a collection with a heavy focus on amethysts, which must have been a firm favourite of the Marchioness, and although only small it is certainly a collection that evokes the period in history we have now come to associate with delicate, yet beguiling jewels.