As the nation prepares for the official crowning of King Charles III, Hancocks London is offering a storied jewel that is fit for a King’s Coronation as its Jewel of the Month for May. The jewel is a magnificent antique diamond and emerald dragonfly brooch set with two Colombian emerald briolettes weighing approximately 25cts that can be detached to make a pair of earrings. The brooch was commissioned by the 5th Countess of Rosse, Frances Lois Parsons, to wear at the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22, 1911.
The Countess gave Garrard a pair of Colombian emerald briolette drops to use as part of the commission which had been taken from a pair of earrings belonging to the Rosse family emerald parure. Guy Burton comments: “To have a new jewel commissioned for such an occassion, particularly one of this size and design was unusual and would certainly have made a significant impact. The rich green emeralds no doubt proved a vibrant contrast to the deep red of the coronation robes and complimented the emerald necklace and tiara that Frances wore with it.”
Set throughout with old cut diamonds, the dragonfly’s lower wings are embellished with a single round emerald and the upper wings with the emerald briolettes, the wings are set ‘en tremblant’ so flutter delicately as the wearer moves, allowing the gemstones to catch the light beautifully.
The full parure, including the briolettes in their earring settings, was also worn to a later coronation, that of King George VI in 1937, by Frances’s daughter-in-law Anne Parsons. In 1953, Countess Rosse wore the Rosse parure to her second coronation, that of our late Queen Elizabeth II. Guy Burton, Managing Director, Hancocks London, says: “The dragonfly brooch was a favourite jewel of Countess Rosse, she wore the brooch regularly, along with the other pieces of the parure. Images of her wearing the dragonfly show it on evening dresses, cocktail dresses and coats, this was a woman with a passion for both jewellery and fashion.”
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