Art Deco seed pearl and diamond pendant – £156,000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

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Offered for sale at Lyon & Turnbull’s (25% buyer’s premium) Jewellery & Watches sale in London on July 1, it came with a GCS report stating it was a natural gem, with no indications of heating, with a probable Sri Lankan origin.

The 4.4cm pendant was formerly the property of Marija Barachuté, who was born in Lithuania in 1911 in a mining community but moved to Glasgow when still a small child.

After changing her name to Mary Barclay, she left Glasgow for the US at the age of 16 and she settled in Chicago.

She lived there for about five years – probably acquiring this pendant that is almost certainly of American manufacture – before returning to Scotland.

Highly saturated medium pink tones such as this are considered among the best pink sapphires.

It was estimated at £4000-6000 but sailed away to reach £156,000.

Londonderry jewels


Burmese ruby and diamond earrings from the family of Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart (née Chaplin), Marchioness of Londonderry – £37,000 at Woolley & Wallis.

An equally well-provenanced jewel was offered by Woolley & Wallis (25% buyer’s premium) on July 15.

The firm’s Fine Jewellery sale included a pair of Burmese ruby and diamond earrings from the family of Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart (née Chaplin), Marchioness of Londonderry (1878-1959).

Chaplin, daughter of the 1st Viscount Chaplin, became the 7th Marquess when her husband inherited the family estates in 1915. At Mount Stewart in County Down she created a legendary garden, while at Londonderry House on Park Lane she assumed the role of influential London political hostess.

Her work with the Women’s Legion for Work in the First World War led to her being made the first-ever Dame Commander in the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire.


Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart (née Chaplin), Marchioness of Londonderry.

The Londonderry family jewels – a selection of which are now on loan to the jewellery gallery of the V&A – were famously spectacular.

Edith documented and researched the Down Diamonds, the Golconda Stomacher, the Turquoise Parure, the Siberian Emeralds and the Russian Amethysts, and the Bonaparte-Murat Pearls as well as the Antrim Rubies, while patronising the finest jewellers in London and Paris.

This pair of earrings dating from the mid 19th century came in an SJ Phillips case and with a GCS certificate stating that the cushion-cut rubies are natural Burmese stones with no indications of heat treatment.

Estimated at £15,000-20,000, they closed the sale in style, selling at £37,000.