51
51

FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF MRS EVELYN ST GEORGE

Gem set and diamond brooch/pendant, 1890s
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
51

FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF MRS EVELYN ST GEORGE

Gem set and diamond brooch/pendant, 1890s
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Jewels

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London

Gem set and diamond brooch/pendant, 1890s
Designed as a bat, the body composed of a pearl, the wings applied with brown plique-à-jour enamel and set with cushion-shaped diamonds, the head set with rose diamonds and a cabochon ruby for the eye, brooch and pendant fittings.

Please note that the pearl has not been tested for natural origin.


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Catalogue Note

Lot 51 was commissioned by Mrs Evelyn St George in the early 20th century. By family tradition she ordered from Lalique. Evelyn was a wealthy American, the eldest child of George Fisher Baker, founder and President of the First National Bank of the City of New York. Against her father's wishes, Evelyn married Howard St George, an Irish land agent from County Kilkenny, in 1891. They moved to Clonsilla Lodge, off Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1905 after which the St Georges were shortly introduced to Willian Orpen who was already married to Grace Knewstub. In 1908 William Orpen began a very open affair with Mrs Evelyn St George, eight years older (and a foot taller) than him. They made a visually odd couple (a fact which delighted Orpen's humour, recorded in a number of witty sketches), causing them to become known as "Jack and the Beanstalk", yet there is no doubt of their genuine affection for one another.

Evelyn St George had a flat in Berkeley Square, and the lovers met and stayed there, appearing with increasing frequency in London society. The relationship resulted in a series of remarkable paintings by Orpen, his talents enthusiastically encouraged by Evelyn. Most famous are the full-length 'swagger' portraits of Evelyn herself, such as Mrs St George. Orpen fathered one of Mrs St George's children, Vivien, from whom the lot was inherited. In later years Vivien was to recall how her mother's boudoir expressed her "marked predeliction for oddities". "These were reserved from another truly titillating piece of furniture - the day-bed that jutted into the room from the shadows of a corner near the fireplace. Luxuriantly upholstered, drowned in rich cushions, it was quite capable of accommodating two adults, a Great Dane, one small child, an alligator and a monkey. I should konw - I was the child."

Fine Jewels

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London