A couple of weeks ago – Wednesday 8th February to be precise – I posted some details on ‘Aladdin’s Cave at the Sale-Room’. At the end of that post I said that I had not been able to check so-far as to what was sold and how much it brought in, and said that I would let you know if I found out.
I have found out – well Christie’s have told me from their archives!
The lots were the property of SIR GODFREY BARING, Bart., of Nubia House, Cowes, Isle of Wight and were sold at a sale held at Christie’s, King Street, London on Thursday 9th February 1928. These are the details for the two items:
Lot 43 was a RUBY AND DIAMOND TIARA, of flower and foliage design, with mounts to form brooches and hair ornament. The stones in this and the following Lot are said to have belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette. It was sold with a hammer price of £900 to ‘Heskia’.
Lot 44 was a RUBY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE OR TIARA, of cluster and foliage design. This was sold with a hammer price of £1,250 to ‘Heskia’.
These were the only two lots in this sale that were the property of Sir Godfrey Baring. Unfortunately Christies do not have invoices for the 1920s so they have not been able to confirm who ‘Heskia’ was. Neither of the lots was illustrated in the catalogue.
So I have gone a bit further in the search. Sir Godfrey Baring (April 1871 – November 1957) was a Liberal Member of Parliament and was a member of the influential Baring family. A lifelong resident of the Isle of Wight he became involved in politics and public affairs at an early age and was elected president of the Isle of Wight Liberal Union in 1893, was made a Justice of the Peace in 1894 and was made High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1897. In 1898 he became chairman of the Isle of Wight County Council, a position he held for the rest of his life. He was also a keen yachtsman and was elected to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1892. He frequently entertained royalty during Cowes Week at his residence ‘Nubia House’ – the same address as noted in the sale documents.
However – I have still not been able to find out who/what was ‘Heskia’!
The best I have found is ‘Almor Design, Inc. Heskia; 98 Cuttermill Road, Suite #125, Great Neck, NY 11021 USA. I have e-mailed them. I have not had a reply.
I’ll let you know if I do!