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The necklace was made in the mid-1880s incorporating six large sapphires from the first trickle of stones to emerge from the Kashmir old mine high in the Himalayas.

Since then it has left the safe deposit box to be worn only a handful of times and the buyer, Hancocks & Co. of London’s Burlington Arcade, was delighted to find such an historic piece in completely unadulterated condition. “It is the most important necklace to come on the market for a very long time,” commented Hancocks’ managing director, Stephen Burton.