Princess Margaret’s mother-in-law, Countess of Rosse’s rare jewels go on sale for the first time: a look at the fascinating emeralds worn at three coronations

The Countess of Rosse brooch will go on sale for the first time in history

Princess Margaret with her mother-in-law, the sixth Countess of Rosse
(Image credit: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

An incredibly rare dragonfly brooch worn by Princess Margaret’s mother-in-law, the Countess of Rosse, will be sold for first time in history.

With the coronation of King Charles a highlight of the year for many royal fans, it might be of interest to know that an exquisite piece of jewelry with ties to three other coronations will go on public sale for the first time.

The antique diamond and emerald dragonfly brooch was made by Garrard & Co., circa 1911, for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.

Garrard & Co is one of the oldest jewelry houses, and has long been associated with the Royal Family. In fact, while they were commissioned to make this piece for the fifth Countess of Rosse, they were also working away on Queen Mary’s crown for the coronation at the same time.

Queen Mary's Crown was made around the same time as Countess of Rosse's brooch

(Image credit: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

That very crown would be worn by Queen Camilla at King Charles’ coronation.

But back to the Rosses.

The stunning clip was designed by Sir Cecil Lister Kaye for his daughter, the Countess of Rosse and used detachable emerald briolette drops from the Rosse Emerald Parure.

The brooch features a pair of wings set en tremblant – meaning they give a fluttering effect when worn.

The Countess of Rosse dragonfly brooch

(Image credit: Hancock's)

The enviable Parure, made around 1885 in London, includes the Rosse Emerald Tiara  which featured a unique set of pear-shaped emeralds set in an unusual (for the time) Kokoshnik style. The parure includes an accompanying necklace, earrings, and a large brooch.

The emerald briolette drops that adorn the wings (and can be worn separately as earrings) were later worn by the sixth Countess of Rosse (Antony Armstrong-Jones’ mother and Margaret’s mother-in-law) to the Coronations of both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

In the 1980s, while the earrings and dragonfly brooch remained with the family, the Rosse Emerald Tiara and the Emerald Necklace were sold at auction at Christies. Their current location is unknown.

The Countess of Rosse brooch is on sale for around $425,000

(Image credit: Hancock's)

The Dragonfly brooch, which contained the original emeralds, was also retained by the Earls of Rosse, who initially offered it for sale at Bonhams in 2016 before it was withdrawn.

Now, the emerald and diamond brooch is on sale at Hancocks in London, with a starting price of around $425,000 (£350,000).

The auction house shares more details of the stunning piece, listing it as owning “2x briolette emeralds estimated to weigh a combined total of approximately 25cts, 2 x round faceted emeralds estimated to weigh a combined total of approximately 1ct and 226 x old cut diamonds estimated to weigh a combined total of approximately 12cts.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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