Acquired at Sotheby’s in July 1986 by a close friend of Margaret Thatcher, a geometric chevron design Cartier brooch had been on near permanent loan to the former prime minister. Thatcher wore the brooch on many public occasions, including the day she offered her resignation to the queen in 1991.
Set with brilliant and baguettecut diamonds, the brooch is accompanied by a facsimile of a letter from Cartier London, dated February, 1989, stating that the brooch was made as a single piece in 1937 and originally sold in 1939.
The letter also gives the owner of the brooch permission on behalf of Cartier London to select jewellery ‘on approbation for the use of the prime minister’.
All proceeds of the double-estimate £65,000 sale went to the Endeavour fund, a charity for servicemen and women.
King Farouk (1920-65) of Egypt has become a byword for extravagance and the lavish lifestyle – owner of a celebrated coin collection, a wardrobe of pornographic ties and consumer of 600 oysters a week.
Five lots in the sale had formed part of the vast collection of jewels and works of art swiftly dispersed by the Egyptian government after Farouk’s forced abdication, when he was aged 32, in favour of his infant son in July 1952.
Farouk’s green enamel monogram to a gold cigarette case by Boucheron, 1930, sent it to £4000, while a pair of lapis lazuli, enamel, coral, turquoise and diamond Egyptian revival scarab brooches by Cartier sold just over top estimate at £17,000.
The French assay and maker’s marks suggest they were among Farouk’s last purchases, dating from the early 1950s.