Auctions

Christie’s London Sells Locket With Royal Provenance

AuctionsJul 10, 2023

Christie’s London Sells Locket With Royal Provenance

It contains locks of hair said to have belonged to King George III and Queen Charlotte.

King George III Return from Illness medallion locket pendant with lock of his hair and Queen Charlotte’s hair
To commemorate King George III’s return from illness, Queen Charlotte commissioned this medallion, which was later refashioned into a locket containing a lock of hair from each.
London—A locket fashioned from a medallion commissioned by Queen Charlotte on occasion of King George III’s return to the throne after illness has sold at Christie’s London.
 
It achieved a final hammer price of £6,048 ($7,765 per current exchanges rates), compared to its £3,000-£5,000 ($3,807-$6,345) pre-sale estimate.
 
Queen Charlotte commissioned the enamel medallion with a gold serpent-inspired rim in 1789 as a gift to loyal members of the royals’ inner circle who stood by the king as he suffered from mental illness. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 

Queen Charlotte died in 1818 and King George died in 1820. That year, the medallion was converted into a locket pendant with an enamel and gold crown set with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.
 
The locket on the medallion’s reverse contains a lock of both the queen and king’s hair, per Christie’s.

King George III Return from Illness medallion locket pendant with lock of his hair and Queen Charlotte’s hair
The medallion was originally created for King George III and Queen Charlotte’s inner circle as a reward for their loyalty. It was later converted to a locket and is believed to contain a lock of the king and queen’s hair.

The historical jewel was offered alongside more than 200 decorative objects collected over 40 years that comprised the Bayreuth collection.
 
Sold on July 7, the collection was part of Christie’s London’s “Classic Week,” which featured art from antiquity through the 20th century. 
 

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