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Queen Victoria’s Mourning Jewellery

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Items of mourning jewellery owned by Queen Victoria will be auctioned by Sothebys in London in March.


The queen would commission a piece of jewellery to commemorate a loved one who died, and the collection includes a button, a brooch and some pendants, all honouring the queen’s mother and three of her children. A banded agate and diamond locket contains a photograph of Queen Victoria’s mother and a lock of her hair, and according to the inscription was a gift from her husband Prince Albert. A hardstone enamel and diamond pendant is set with the name Alice in diamonds, in memory of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Alice who died of diphtheria at the age of 35. David Macdonald, Sotheby’s specialist and head of sale for the auction, described the collection as “biographical.”


“You think of Victoria and you think of the great jewels of state, the diamonds, the Koh-i-Noor, all these stones. These jewels are much more intimate, their value isn’t through large diamonds. Their value lies in the full expression, an emotional, deeply personal expression about loss and love,” he said.


…and the modern version…


US television personality Amanda Kloots has a precious souvenir of her late husband Tony Award- nominated actor Nick Cordero, who died of COVID last year at the age of 41.


Kloots commissioned US jewellery designer and curator Stephanie Gottlieb to create a ring incorporating Cordero’s ashes. The centre stone is a sapphire which was Cordero’s birthstone. Gottlieb also designed Kloots’ engagement ring and wedding ring.


“I’m constantly amazed by the ways you can incorporate ashes to keep your person close to you,” said Kloots. “I love that Nick is with me in so many places: the ocean, a beautiful vase, an urn and now on my hand.”