AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY CONVERTIBLE DIAMOND FLORAL TIARA/NECKLACE
With seven graduated old mine cut diamond set gold backed silver flower heads, with screw fittings verso, one later, with rose cut and mine cut diamond set foliate links, with a diamond set foliate band below, approximately 12 carats total, with removable tiara frame, the bottom band with a clasp so the two sections can be made into a necklace, with additional brooch and earring fittings, with a fitted Carrington & Co. case
Size/dimensions: the rise of the tiara is 4.7cm high, necklace is 37cm long
Gross weight: tiara 57.3 grams
The tiara was made by Carrington in London for Phyllis Elinor Turner (1893-1958) for her presentation at court, possibly at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, before her marriage to Gilbert Maxwell Adair Graham on the 19 th June 1913. Phyllis and her brother Arthur Turner were born, brought up, and lived their lives in Porto, amongst the 1000 strong Anglo-Portuguese community. She worked tirelessly for poor relief charities in the Douro Valley and was made a Dame of the Order of Christ of Portugal for her charitable work.
During World War I Gilbert Maxwell Adair Graham was on the Staff of the Quartermaster General Department at the War Office and received an OBE 1918 and a CBE in 1919. Gilbert's Scottish family had long trading links with Portugal starting in the late 18 th century. Their introduction to the port business came in 1820 when John Graham exported 27 barrels of port to Glasgow in lieu of an unpaid debt. By the 1880s the Graham family's port trading was so successful they launched the W. & J. Graham port business. The Graham family purchased their own Portuguese estates in 1890, the Quinta dos Malvados vineyards in the Douro Valley, in order to produce their own port grapes. After many successful years in the port trade, the Graham family sold their remaining share of the W. & J. Graham business in 1970. In subsequent decades decedents of the Graham family have brought other vineyards Douro Valley and have set up a new successful port business with their brand, Churchill's Port.
Thence by family descent
The principal diamonds are approximately 0.80 carats each, however the depth of the diamonds cannot be measured due to the settings.
One of the second largest flower heads to the side of the central flower is a later replacement cast from the other remaining original, the replacement is only noticeable due to the difference in the setting seen from the reverse. The replacement flower head is slightly smaller than the original it was cast from.
The two smallest flower heads may have come from an earlier tiara, there is some lead solder behind these two smallest flowers which had been used to fix them in place to the ear stud fittings. There are no other signs of repair to the main gold backed silver tiara/necklace mount.
The flower heads measure 13.5mm (smallest), 15mm, 26.1mm (replacement flower head), 27.1mm (original flower head) and 29mm (largest).
The diamonds are all present with no obvious replacements, they are mixed clarity (mostly VS - SI, with inclusions visible in some with a 10X loupe); they are also slightly mixed in colour H-K, with some showing slight tinged colour).
The nickel tiara frame has had numerous repairs with lead solder patches. The original tightening screws at the side of the frame have been lead soldered into a fixed position.
As is common with gold backed silver mounted jewellery of this period, there are no hallmarks or makers marks on the mount.
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