Roseberys auctions rare collection of notorious gems and jewels


A 22.47ct aquamarine Cartier pendant (above) from the estate of the late Denisa Lady Newborough will highlight the 288 lot section of Fine Jewels, which comprise part of Roseberys Fine Art auction on Tuesday 30 June.

An infamous socialite of the 1920s, 30s, 40s and seemingly of every decade until her death in 1992, Denisa Lady Newborough was described in her obituary in The Daily Telegraph as: “many things: wire-walker, nightclub girl, nude dancer, air pilot.”

Originally from Romania, her obituary goes on to say, “her admirers included the Kings of Spain and Bulgaria, Adolf Hitler…Benito Mussolini…and Sheikh ben Ghana, who gave her 500 sheep. By conventional standards, her morality matched her flaming red hair but she remained as proud of one as the other.” Her colourful life saw her travel extensively, and she claimed in her 1956 autobiography entitled “Fire in My Blood”, to have spoken 14 languages.

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A trail blazer for the modern day It girl, Lady Newborough attained her title through a short lived marriage to Thomas John Wynn, 5th Baron Newborough, who died in 1957.

Lord Newborough is said to have initiated divorce proceedings less than 24 hours after their marriage, which took place the morning after a night spent playing cards in Monte Carlo. She later went on to become an antiques dealer, and ran a premises in Shepherd’s Market in the heart of London’s Mayfair.

A number of items from her private collection are being offered in this sale, and are highlighted by the impressive 22.47ct aquamarine and diamond pendant.

The stunning light blue stone is complimented by eight single stone diamonds, and comes complete with original red leather Cartier case.

Lady Newborough was known to have accepted jewels as gifts from her many admirers, and this piece is estimated to sell for £7,000-10,000.

A handmade diamond, yellow diamond and natural pearl butterfly brooch, en tremblant from the Victorian period, is one of a number of pieces in the sale from a private London collection. Like much of the jewellery from the early to mid Victorian period, the gold setting for the brooch has no makers mark, but the piece comes with a gemmological report stating that the old cut diamonds on the butterfly’s openwork wings are approx 5.30ct, colour G-H and VS clarity and the Fancy Light Yellow diamonds that form the butterfly’s body are approx 3.03ct and VS clarity. Estimate is £5,000-7,000.

From the same collection, an 18ct gold, platinum and diamond set bracelet by the American jeweller David Webb is estimated to sell for £5,000-8,000.

The Fine Jewels auction will be held as part of Roseberys Fine Art auction on Tuesday 30 June and is available to view from the afternoon of Friday 26 June to the morning of the auction at Roseberys London saleroom.


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