A natural pearl and diamond-set brooch, circa 1900. Estimate £7,000 – 10,000 (€8,800 – 13,000). Photo: Bonhams.
Designed as a jabot pin, the baroque natural pearl surmount decorated with a rose-cut diamond girdle and three old brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending either side two baroque natural pearl drops via gold chain connectors, the baroque pearl terminal with old brilliant and rose-cut diamond cap, mounted in yellow gold, later pin fitting, length 7.0cm
Accompanied by a report from SSEF stating that the four pearls are natural, saltwater. Report number 75610, dated 21 July 2014.
Notes: This pearl brooch belonged to Nancy Astor and was gifted by her to a member of the current owner’s family.
Nancy, Viscountess Astor (1879-1964), was famous as a society hostess and as the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. In 1906 she married her second husband, Waldorf Astor, later second Viscount Astor. She energetically supported her husband’s political career and after he entered the House of Lords, she won his former seat in 1919. On arriving at the House of Commons for the first time she apparently found her room filled with hats from milliners hoping to receive her patronage. Thereafter, she adopted a sombre costume of white and black to stop the press trivialising her position as MP by focusing on her clothes.
Nancy, Viscountess Astor (1879-1964).