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London Jewels / OPAL AND DIAMOND PENDANT, 19TH CENTURY
Sold for £8,287.50 inc. premium
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Lady Mary Trefusis, née Lygon (26 February 1869–12 September 1927)
This pendant was given to Lady Mary by HM Queen Mary. Lady Mary wears it in a photograph taken of her as Mayoress of Worcester in 1896.
Lady Mary was an English musician and courtier. She was a daughter of the 6th Earl Beauchamp and married Lt.-Col. Henry Walter Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis (a son of the 20th Baron Clinton) in 1905.
Lady Mary was a close friend and correspondent of her brother William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp (1872-1938), who, along with other members of the glamorous Lygon family were Evelyn Waugh's inspiration for the Marchmain family in his masterpiece Brideshead Revisited.
Brother and sister were Mayor and Mayoress of Worcester from 1895 to 1896 and when, in 1899, Lord Beauchamp travelled to Australia to be governor of New South Wales she travelled with him and acted as his hostess.
Lady Mary was a friend and promoter of the composer Edward Elgar and is commemorated anonymously in one of his Enigma Variations entitled "Romanza (***)". In addition she worked closely with many well-known musicians of the day: Sir Hubert Parry, Cecil Sharp, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Martin Shaw, Peter Warlock, to name but a few. She was the first Secretary of the English Folk Dance Society (founded 1911) and was for a time a collector of English folk dances. Trefusis Hall, in the English Folk Dance & Song Society's headquarters, Cecil Sharp House, is named after her. She directed a number of choirs and was the joint founder of the Association of Competitive Festivals in 1904 (Mary Wakefield was the other founder).
As Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Mary, Lady Mary accompanied the Queen on many State occasions.
The diamond and pearl necklace, by Garrard, (lot 27) was given to her by her husband as a wedding present. Lady Mary may well have worn it, and other pieces of jewellery, when she accompanied the Princess of Wales (later Queen Mary) to the Coronation of King Haakon of Norway in 1905 and at the Coronation of George V in 1911.