A granite bracelet which Queen Victoria gifted in celebration of her daughter Princess Louise's engagement has sold with impressive results as part of Bonhams' Scottish Sale, which was held yesterday (August 30) in Edinburgh.
The stunning bracelet, made by Rettie of Aberdeen, was given to the lady of the bedchamber, Jane Loftus - Marchioness of Ely, who had been present at Lord Lorne's proposal to Princess Louise.
Lorne proposed to Princess Louise on the grounds of the Balmoral Estate in 1870. Initially, the move was frowned upon by many members of the royal family due to the fact that, although a high-ranking aristocrat, Lorne was not a member of a royal house.
Queen Victoria, however, seemed thrilled with the proposal. That same day she wrote in her diary: "This was an eventful day! Our dear Louise was engaged to Lord Lorne. The event took place during a walk from Glassalt Shiel to the Dhu Loch. She had gone there with Janie Ely, the Lord Chancellor, and Lorne."
The bracelet was likely commissioned soon after the proposal as a commemorative gift to Ely, the personal attendant to the queen. It is formed of a series of six circular cabochon-cut granites, with larger oval granite at the centre. Framed by Celtic knotwork silver mounts, the central plaque opens to reveal a photograph of Princess Louise.
Its inscription reads: "To the Marchioness of Ely in recollection of the Dhu Loch 3rd Octr 1870 from Victoria R". Despite its stunning provenance and fascinating background, the piece was expected to sell for just £300-600, but bidders soon raised the price to an impressive £3,500 - 483.3% above its high estimate.
With 2012 marking the present queen's diamond jubilee, interest in royal memorabilia has been renewed and the majority of items are seeing excellent results at auction.
In its September sale, our sister company PFC Auctions will be offering a signed photograph of Queen Victoria, which was personally selected by the monarch to serve as the official image for her diamond jubilee.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is also offering two further Queen Victoria items. We have a brilliant handwritten telegraph, which shows Victoria's concern for one of her subjects, and an autographed appointment letter, where the queen appoints a new "Deputy Assistant Commissary General of Stores Provisions and Forage to Our Forces".