The Private Collection of a Gentleman

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Date of Auction: 18th June 2019

Sold for £4,600

Estimate: £2,000 - £3,000

An enamel and diamond set locket hinged bangle, by Robert Phillips, circa 1860-1870, the central navette-shaped locket in blue enamel, supporting a pinched collet set rose-cut diamond double heart and knot motif, within a similarly set ribbon garland surround, to a red, green and white enamel stylised foliate border, the locket opening to reveal two glazed hairwork panels within (hinge damaged), with a black and white enamelled scrolled gallery, to a similarly enamel decorated hinged bangle, bearing maker’s mark ‘RP’ for Robert Phillips of Cockspur Street, London, to the underside of the locket, locket measures 62 x 30mm, internal bangle diameter 58mm. £2,000-£3,000

Condition Report

The hinge of locket is damaged, the cover being completely detached. The original screw for the hinge has been retained. There are some small patches of enamel damage and repair around the edge of the locket and a couple of repairs to the enamel around the clasp of the bangle. Within the locket the hairwork comprises three curls, overlaid with a small gold banner, inscribed ‘M.A., T.A., C.A’; the lid of the locket is also glazed and contains a single lock of hair. Gross weight 80gm.

Footnote

Robert Phillips was one of two brothers who formed the firm Phillips Brothers of Cockspur Street in London, who with his brother Magnus started their business at No. 31 Cockspur Street in 1839, moving to No. 23 in 1862, the company name changing to Phillips Brothers & Son around 1865. He entered his mark ‘RP’ at Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1851, although this was later superseded by a mark incorporating the Prince of Wales feathers, reflecting their patronage by the Prince.


Although part of a partnership, as the leading partner Robert Phillips often exhibited at international exhibitions under his own name and was inspired by a vast range of historic styles. He was the only English jeweller to be awarded a gold medal at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition, where he displayed work of ‘Greek, Roman, Scandinavian, Byzantine and Renaissance styles’. He also contributed to this exhibition a beautiful polychrome enamelled necklace of Indian inspiration (bearing the same ‘RP’ maker’s mark), which was purchased by the South Kensington Museum - now the Victoria and Albert Museum, and remains in their collections today.


See:
Bury, S.,
Jewellery, the International Era, 1789-1910, Vol II, Antique Collectors Club, 1991, p 465.