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  • Posts Tagged ‘Lady Powerscourt’

    JEWELS GIFTED BY CHESTER BEATTY TO LADY POWERSCOURT AT BONHAMS

    Monday, September 3rd, 2018

    Lady Powerscourt c1930.

    Jewellery gifted to Lady Powerscourt from Sir Chester Beatty from his personal collection will come up at Bonhams in London on September 26.  The two pieces were gifted in the 1950’s and date to the 1920’s.  They represent the Art Deco vogue for jewels in “exotic” taste.  The first – an Art Deco hardstone seal, gem-set and enamel jewel, is French in origin, dated circa 1925.  This was originally a shoulder ornament and then converted to a bracelet.  It is composed of five chalcedony seals of various colours, each engraved with a Qur’anic script and framed by black enamel. These are connected by black enamel and rose-cut diamond links with emerald and ruby bead highlights. It has a pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000.

    The second is an Art Deco neohrite, onyx and diamond pendant by Cartier and is estimated at £20,000-30,000.  The rectangular nephrite plaque is carved with numerous motifs that signify blessings and abundant joy. Its reverse is engraved with Chinese characters literally meaning ‘blessings come from blessings’.  It is suspended from an articulated circular plaque decorated with undulating lines of single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut onyx, mounted in platinum.

    Kieran O’Boyle, Head of Bonhams Ireland, said: “We are honoured to bring these two pieces of jewellery to auction for the first time.  Both pieces offer a glimpse into the history of Chester Beatty and his priceless art collection.”

    An avid collector who travelled extensively throughout his life, he built an impressive and diverse collection of works of art and masterpieces from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa and employed a full-time librarian and several academic advisors to appraise items he wished to purchase.

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968) – Ireland’s first honorary citizen – philanthropist and one of the most significant art collectors of the 20th Century, was also one of the world’s leading mining engineers, known as the “King of Copper”. After leaving his native New York in 1912 he lived in London for many years and was an important benefactor of the British Museum.  He retired to Ireland in 1950 and in 1953 went on to set up a purpose-built library in Shrewsbury Road, Dublin, initially for research, but then open to the public.  Upon his death in 1968, his priceless collection was bequeathed to a trust for the benefit of the people of Ireland.  He was granted a State funeral and was buried at Glasnevin Cemetry in Dublin.  Today, situated in the grounds of historic Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library is the pre-eminent Irish institution promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures and contains some of the finest treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

    In  1952, he met Lady Powerscourt* and the two quickly struck up a friendship.  Beatty held the highest respect for Lady Powerscourt’s knowledge, judgement and understanding of his collection, which she would ultimately help him catalogue. Sheila Wingfield, Lady Powerscourt (1906-1992), was a poet and a writer. Wealthy and beautiful, she was largely self-taught and fought various obstacles during her lifetime to gain recognition for her work, despite admiration from contemporary writers such as W.B Yeats, Sir John Betjeman and T.S Eliot. Her best-known work, considered her masterpiece, is her 2000-line poem, Beat Drum, Beat Heart (1946), written about World War II.

    An Art Deco Nephrite, Onyx and Diamond Pendant by Cartier

    An Art Deco Hardstone Seal, Gem-Set and Enamel Jewel

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty c1911.