GUEST COLUMN – An important ring, formerly in the collection of Princess Margaret, to go to auction


By Elizabeth Dawson, Head of Department at Elmwood’s Auctioneers

Elmwood’s are delighted to announce the auction of an important ring, formerly in the collection of Princess Margaret, in our upcoming Important Jewels auction on Thursday, 9th June.

an important ring, formerly in the collection of Princess Margaret

The ring previously featured as lot 94 in Christies’ ‘Property from the Collection of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden’ auction, on Tuesday 13th June, 2006, in London and was purchased from the sale by the current owner.

The 18th century Georgian enamel and rock crystal mourning ring is set in yellow gold, with a central hair work compartment covered by a hexagonal Stuart crystal. The band is set with black enamel and reads ‘E.Lowes ob:5 May 1760 aet 70’. It is also engraved with the Princess’s ownership mark – the monogram ‘M’ surmounted by Princess Margaret’s coronet.

The ring is offered with a Certificate of Provenance from Kensington Palace, within its original embossed leather folder dated 13th June, 2006, and signed by Viscount Linley and Edward Dolman. It is offered as lot 67 with an estimate of £10,000-£15,000.

It is a beautifully preserved example of mourning jewellery, commemorating the death of Eleanor Lowes (nee Graham) of Ridley Hall, wife of John Lowes. Ridley Hall was sold by the Lowes Family following the death of John and his two sons (William Cornforth Lowes in 1810 and his brother in 1812).

The descended family resided at Allensgreen Farm until 1830, when John Davidson, cousin and beneficiary of William Cornforth Lowes, bought back Ridley Hall. He then married Susan Jessup (granddaughter of 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne). Upon her death she bequeathed the estate and house to John Bowes, an illegitimate son of the her cousin the 10th Earl, and it is believed to be through the Bowes-Lyon line of her family that this ring reached Her Royal Highness and made it into her collection.

an important ring, formerly in the collection of Princess Margaret

It was an exciting surprise when the piece came into the office as part of a routine valuation and we are thrilled to offer it during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a jewel from a Royal Collection during such a significant year for the Royal family.

Further auction highlights include lot 46 – an Art Deco rock crystal, emerald and diamond bracelet by Hennel, previously part of the collection of the late Countess Mountbatten of Burma, offered with an estimate of £35,000-£45,000; and lot 16 – a vintage citrine and diamond flower brooch by Cartier, which featured earlier this year on Antiques Roadshow: it has an estimate of £15,000-£25,000.

Elmwood’s Important Jewels auction will take place on Thursday 9th June, at 2 pm BST.

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