A rare, 19th century natural coloured pearl necklace that belonged to Queen Isabella II of Spain will come up at Christie’s important jewels auction in London on December 2. Estimated at £500,000-700,000 they were originally collected by King Ferdinand VII of Spain for his wife Marie Christina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (she was also his niece). Queen Isabella II of Spain was born in Madrid in 1830 and on the death of her father King Ferdinand VII was proclaimed sovereign at the age of three, with her mother acting as regent.
Against a backdrop of succession disputes and conspiracies, Isabella was finally declared to be of age at 13, where she reigned directly until the revolt of 1868, known as the Glorious Revolution, forced her into exile in France and ushered the First Spanish Republic into power. The necklace originally described as being formed from 46 pearls was later offered for sale at auction in Paris on July 1, 1878 consigned directly by Isabella II, along with other magnificent jewels in her collection. It came up again at Christie’s in London in April 1960 as ‘the property of Frank H. Hargrove, Esq.’ and has since remained in the same family.