At the time, displayed alongside the collection of travel writer Lady Anna Brassey, it was reputed to be the largest coral necklace in the world. Weighing 605g, the beads graduate from 13.5mm to 25mm.
Formerly the property of Henry Blayds Molyneux, grandson of Thomas Molyneux of Newsham House, Liverpool, the necklace came up for sale at Ewbank’s (22.5% buyer’s premium) auction in Send, Surrey on June 20-22.
Expected to take £5000-8000, it underlined the rising prices for organic gems when sold in the room, to a European agent thought to be bidding for a Chinese buyer, at £29,000.
From the same collection were the two other coral pieces pictured here: a Georgian cross and a 19th century brooch which went to different buyers at £1300 and £1500 respectively.