One of the rare jewellery collections of Britain's last viceroy Mountbatten, the "Imperial Order of the Crown of India," given to Doreen, wife of one-time Viceroy Michael Knatchbull, whose only living wearer is Queen Elizabeth II, will go under hammer by Sotheby's.
The four-day exhibition will begin from March 20, 2021. Each lot will be offered for sale with estimates ranging from £80 – 100,000.
Collections of the eldest daughter of Britain's last Viceroy of India, Patricia, include a pair of gold and enamel elephants, made in Jaipur and given by Louis Mountbatten to his wife as a present to mark their 24th wedding anniversary in 1946. In fact, the pair had become engaged at Viceroy's House in Delhi in 1922.
Born in 1924, Patricia was the second Countess Mountbatten of Burma, and the great granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Her husband John Knatchbull was the seventh Baron Brabourne. Her ornaments and rare collections include jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculpture, books, silver and ceramics resembling Indian ancient craftsmanship and glory, said the auction house.
In addition, over 350 objects from the 18th century home of the late Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten would go under the hammer at a an auction on March 24, said Sotheby's. "The sale will open to door on the history of the family through the art and objects that they lived with, crossing the paths of the twentieth century's leading figures along the way. Many items were inherited from her ancestors and share connections with India, a place that was very special to the family," it said.
Diamond set made in India
A diamond set and enamelled gold bracelet made in India, that was worn by Queen Victoria once and passed down the family, is also part of the sale, so is an India-inspired set of jewels belonging to the last Viceroy's wife.
Harry Dalmeny, Sotheby's Chairman, said: "Lady Mountbatten's residence, Newhouse, was a private place for entertaining only the closest of family and friends, capturing all the magic of a stately home on an intimate scale. Through her belongings, many passed down from members of the extended family over the years, collectors have the chance to see the story of the 20th century unfold and acquire evocative vestiges of a glittering way of life."
Lady Mountbatten's family said in a statement ahead of the auction is to celebrate the memory of both their mother and father. "They had discussed these arrangements with us, and we are simply putting their plans into effect." However, the family said many things and importantly among these are objects which are of sentimental value and much loved by the couple are being withheld from the auction.
Patricia, married to the son of Michael Knatchbull, who had spent four months as India's youngest Viceroy in 1938, later worked for Louis Mountbatten in India, before becoming an Academy Award nominated Film Producer (behind titles such as "A Passage to India").
When Patricia and John married, the newlyweds chose to spend several months in India as part of their honeymoon. Then a young Princess Elizabeth, who would later become Queen Elizabeth II, had been a bridesmaid at their wedding, said the auction house.