Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now


The July 13 sale at Fellows in Birmingham includes a late Victorian gold shell cameo brooch. Lightly scratch-engraved Edinburgh Castle to the reverse, the scene is believed to depict the international exhibition of Edinburgh in 1886. The estimate is £650-750.



This gold and enamel brooch bearing the cypher of Queen Mary II comes in a fitted case by Plante, 12 Bury Street, London. By repute it was given to Miss Jean Harkness, a personal housemaid to the queen.

Offered together with a signed photograph of Queen Mary (shown below), it carries an estimate of £200-400 at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet on July 11.



A 15th century gold heart-shaped brooch, a medieval gift of love from time of the Wars of the Roses, is guided at £6000-8000 at Hansons in Derbyshire on August 23.

The high-carat jewel, inlaid with white enamel, is engraved in the language of courtly love with the medieval French inscription Honour et Ioie (honour and joy).

It was unearthed in 2016 on land bordering the moat of Kirby Muxloe Castle, the seat of William Hastings who had fought alongside Edward IV at Towton in 1461 before meeting a grisly end at the behest of Richard, Duke of York (later Richard III).

The location of the find has led to speculation that the jewel may have been a gift from Hastings to his wife Katherine Neville, who lived at Kirby Muxloe until she died in 1504.


Woolley & Wallis

The familiar idiom ‘pigs might fly’ is apparently derived from a centuries-old Scottish proverb, but it gained particular popularity in the late 19th century with the books of Lewis Carroll. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice tells the duchess she has a right to think. “Just about as much right,” said the duchess, “as pigs have to fly…”

This novel leaping pig brooch, dating from the early 20th century, is formed around a baroque pearl set with diamonds and rubies in silver and gold. At Woolley & Wallis’ July 20 sale in Salisbury it carries expectations of £4000-6000.