Sunday, September 13, 2009

Salmagundi #11

The film The Young Victoria, which tells the story of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne, her first shaky steps as monarch, and the courtship that led to one of the most famous romances of all time, will open in the U.S. on November 13. It stars Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend and was produced by Sarah Ferguson and Academy Award winners Martin Scorsese and Graham King. Read my previous post on the film here.

A catalogue to the collections housed in the Brontë Parsonage Museum is now accessible online. This is a landmark achievement in the history of the museum, allowing global access to information on more than 7000 items, including books, manuscripts, letters, paintings, drawings, furniture, household items, and personal possessions belonging to the Brontë family, their friends, and associates.

A yellow-and-white-gold pin designed by Queen Victoria to commemorate her faithful ghillie John Brown after his death in 1883 (shown at left) has fetched £5,760 at a Bonhams auction in Edinburgh. The pin, which shows a likeness of Brown and his initials on one side and the royal monogram on the other, made ten times its estimate after what was described as "frenzied" bidding. It was designed by the queen to be given to her Highland servants and cottagers, to be worn by them every year on the anniversary of Brown's death (27 March).

And speaking of Bonhams . . . on 8 October the firm will auction an important nineteenth-century emerald and seed-pearl necklace that was reputedly worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur (1817-1863), wife of the Maharajah Ranjit Singh and mother of Duleep Singh, who became a godson of Queen Victoria. The necklace, which features 50 carats of emeralds, is expected to sell for about £35,000. A plaque was unveiled in July 2009 in a West London cemetery to commemorate the maharani, a formidable woman who fought two wars against the British in the mid-nineteenth century. Read more about the unveiling of the plaque here. Read my post about the fascinating and tragic life of Duleep Singh, the last maharajah of Punjab, here.


Raven said...

Hi - Maharani Jindan Kaur's necklace was sold today for £55,200. I tripped across your great blog while trying to find out who bought the necklace - case as yet unsolved! Raven, from London.

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