A Stunning Antique Emerald and Diamond ‘En Tremblant’ Dragonfly Brooch

A magnificent antique diamond and emerald dragonfly brooch by Garrard & Co., 1911, the realistically modelled dragonfly with wings outspread is formed in silver on gold and is set throughout with old cut diamonds, the lower wings embellished with a single round emerald and the upper wings each with a stunning emerald briolette, these briolettes detach from the wings to form a pair of drop earrings, the wings are set ‘en tremblant’ so quiver delicately as the wearer moves, this gives the piece the most wonderful sense of life-like movement and of course means the gemstones catch the light beautifully, there is a single pin brooch fitting to the reverse and it comes in the original Garrard box, complete with a handwritten note about the creation of the jewel by the Countess of Rosse, stating it was made for the 1911 Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.

Further Details

ProvenancePreviously in the collection of Frances Lois, Countess of Rosse and her daughter in law Anne, Countess Rosse and thence by descent. The note which is pinned inside the box reads… "This brooch was made out of the earrings of the antique emerald and diamond parure of the Rosse family – by Lois Lady Rosse for the 1911 Coronation and also some extra diamonds were added in. (Designed by her father Sir Cecil Lister Kaye) To be entailed with the family emeralds."
Gemstones and Other Materials2x 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
226 x old cut diamonds estimated to weigh a combined total of approximately 12cts
Condition ReportVery fine
Setting18ct gold and silver
Weight description35 grams
DimensionsWingspan 12.3cm / 4.8" wide
Body 7.3cm / 2.8" long
Earrings 2.5cm/ 1" long

Directors Notes

This wonderful jewel was made by the Crown Jewellers Garrard & Co. for Frances, 5th Countess of Rosse to wear to the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
A coronation is a state occasion steeped in history and tradition and the jewels worn by the Peeresses to accompany their formal coronation robes reflect this. Parures of historic family jewels passed down through generations were de rigeur, topped off with the most important tiara each Peeress owned. To have a new jewel commissioned, particularly one of this size and design was likely 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.
The dragonfly brooch is a truly spectacular jewel and would have attracted many an admiring glance, the tremblant setting causing it to flutter and catch the light with every movement she made. The countess had given Garrard a pair of Colombian emerald briolette drops to use which she had taken from a pair of earrings that were part of the Rosse family emerald parure. The clever design her father had devised meant that these beautiful drops, estimated to weigh approximately 25cts between them, could be detached from their place in the upper wings and put back into their original earrings.
In due course, the dragonfly brooch passed from Frances to her daughter-in-law Anne, 6th Countess of Rosse. The brooch was a favourite jewel of Anne’s and she wore it regularly. 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. It is thanks to her that we know the details regarding the commissioning of this piece. Her handwritten note on the provenance of this unique jewel remains pinned inside the box in which the dragonfly rests.


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Garrard, the famous London firm of silversmiths and jewellers, was founded in 1735 by George Wickes.  He was born in to a family of craftsmen and was apprenticed to Samuel Wastell at 14 before gaining his freedom and registering his own maker’s mark in 1722. In 1735 he established his own business in the West End of London on Panton Street and his reputation as a skilled silversmith quickly spread.  Within the year he was receiving commissions from aristocratic patrons as well as the firm’s first royal order which was placed by Frederick, Prince of Wales. 

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