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The inscription on the lined lid of the box states that the set was produced by Seaman Schepps of Madison Avenue for Gertrude Lawrence, and her name is inscribed to three of the assorted platinum, gold and metal charms – some set with diamonds and other precious stones – that are attached to the removable gold bands that circle the cigarette holders. The lid of each jar is also personalised with a gold and diamond hand positioned as the sign language letters for G and L.

Though there was a lot of background on the property from which the piece came, the jewellery of Hannah Glover Ellerman, companion and later wife of the British shipping tycoon Sir John Ellerman, who died in 1939, and her daughter Bryher – who in turn left the jewels to her own adopted daughter Perdita – there was no clue as to how this memento of the beautiful actress and singer, who died in 1952, came to be part of the property.

Born Alexandre Dagmar Lawrence-Klasen c.1902, Gertrude Lawrence made her New York debut in 1924 in Charlot’s Revue, together with Beatrice Lillie, and appeared with her childhood friend Noel Coward in his Private Lives in 1931. Her charm and personality, as seen in Susan and God (1937) and in such musicals as Lady in the Dark (1941) and The King and I (1951) certainly made her an international star, so perhaps no further promotion was really necessary after all.The set sold at $12,000 (£7845).