The Iconic Spencer-Churchill Necklace Is For Sale For the First Time
The 150-year-old Spencer-Churchill necklace is a family heirloom that illustrates the elite social connections of one of the most prominent English families to date. Some of the most notable names that are linked to this piece of jewelry, and the family that created it, include Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, the Vanderbilts, and Princess Diana. Now, the piece is available for acquisition at Hancock's London for £125,000 (roughly $150,000). This is the first time the necklace has been available to the open market since it was made.
"From sentimental gift to a historic jewel, this is the story of a family necklace and the famous people it connects," Guy Burton, the Managing Director of Hancocks London, said in a press release. "It’s an utterly unique piece of jewelry, both in its design and concept and in the family history and social connections of those whose names it carries."
The Victorian-style necklace was created by John Spencer-Churchill (1822-1883), 7th Duke of Marlborough, for his wife Frances (1822-1899) around 1875. Its gold collar set design is broken up by eight oval glazed-back lockets, seven of which feature engravings of the owner's children's initials on the front. The initials are encased by polychrome enamel with floral wreaths and white ribbon bows. On the back of the ovals are the hand-engraved full names and birth dates of each of their children.
Both John and Frances were members of aristocratic families: John being the 7th Duke of Marlborough, while Frances was the daughter of the 3rd Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry, and chatelaine of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. The two were closely linked with the British Royal Family throughout their lives and Frances was even childhood friends with Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
Their son, Randolph (1849- 1895), the Tory politician father of Winston Churchill (1874-1965), was part of Edward, the Prince of Wales’s social set. The Prince introduced Randolph to U.S. heiress Jennie Jerome, whom he would eventually wed. Winston Churchill and Princess Diana are distant cousin. Some of their common relatives include Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer (1675-1722) and his wife Anne Churchill.
"The Spencer-Churchills were at the very heart of British society and politics for two centuries and this piece, and the names it carries reflect their status and influence in a way almost no other family dynasty could match. Its fascinating provenance deserves study by historians equally as much as jewelers," Burton says.
Altogether, the couple had 11 children, five sons (three of whom did not survive infancy) and six daughters. Seven of their children are immortalized on the accessory.
The necklace will officially be available to buy on March 2, 2023. For inquiries, please visit Hancocks-london.com.
You Might Also Like