A diamond bracelet and jeweled ornamental elephants from Jaipur are some of the Indian heirlooms that form up a collection of 350 personal items belonging to Patricia Mountbatten, the eldest daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was the last Viceroy of India which will go under the hammer in London in March. Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten was the Second Countess Mountbatten of Burma and had a powerful royal relationship as the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and first cousin to Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Britain”s Queen Elizabeth II.
The Sotheby’s sale in London, with approximates ranging from 80 pounds to 100,000 pounds, holds many items acquired from her ancestors sharing relationships with India, a place that was supposed to be very exceptional to the family.” Lady Mountbatten’s residence, Newhouse, was a private place for entertaining only the closest of family and friends, capturing all the magic of a stately home on an intimate scale,” said Harry Dalmeny, Sotheby’s Chairman, UK & Ireland.”Through her belongings, many carried down from members of the extensive family over the years, collectors have the opportunity to view the story of the 20th century discover and receive suggestive remains of a glittering form of life,” he said.
Patricia Mountbatten’s Indian relationship was not only as the daughter of Lord and Lady Mountbatten but also on her husband John Knatchbull’s side of the family as his father (Michael Knatchbull) spent four months as India’s youngest Viceroy in 1938. John himself served for Louis Mountbatten in India and later became an Oscar-nominated film producer, after the well-known Raj-era epic ‘A Passage to India’.The Indian heritage up for sale combine a diamond set and enameled gold bracelet made in India, that once belonged to Queen Victoria. The bracelet incorporates a portrait of Victoria’s husband Albert, as a child, and would have been approved by the monarch herself. This was then carried down through Victoria’s descendants to Louis Mountbatten and then to his daughter Patricia.
A British Raj era Imperial Order of the Crown of India, calculated between 15,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds, was presented to Patricia’s mother-in-law Doreen, wife of one-time Viceroy Michael Knatchbull. A pair of gold and enamel elephants made in Jaipur and priced between 2,000 pounds and 3,000 pounds was presented by Louis Mountbatten to his wife, Edwina, as a gift to mark their 24th wedding anniversary in 1946. They are inscribed on the bottom with the names “Edwina from Dickie” in Louis’ handwriting. The couple had become engaged at Viceroy’s House in Delhi in 1922.
A “Tutti Frutti” style set of jewels in the collection, priced between 40,000 pounds and 60,000 pounds, belonged to Edwina Mountbatten, who is supposed to have had a special penchant for this style that took inspiration from Indian cut-colored gems. The sale also involves a lot made up of a rare Anglo-Indian ornate bureau by Thomas Chippendale, manufactured in 1767 and carried down through the Knatchbull family, also estimated between 40,000 pounds and 60,000 pounds.
“Our overriding desire when organizing our mother’s affairs is to honor her wishes and celebrate the memory of both our mother and our father. They had discussed these arrangements with us, and we are simply putting their plans into effect. We are of course keeping many things and important amongst these are objects which are of sentimental value and much loved,” reads a statement from the Mountbatten family, about the auction registered for March 24.