Antique dragonfly brooch set to fly with coronation

A unique piece of jewellery with a century of royal history is about to come onto the market as preparations for the coronation of King Charles III pick up pace.

For the first time in its history an antique diamond and emerald dragonfly brooch, set with two Colombian emerald briolettes and weighing approximately 25cts, will be offered at Mayfair’s oldest jewellers, Hancocks London, priced at £350,000.

The brooch was commissioned by the 5th Countess of Rosse, Frances Lois Parsons, to wear at the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22, 1911.

Guy Burton, Managing Director, Hancocks London, commented: “The dragonfly brooch flew in the face of traditional formal jewellery at the time. To have a new jewel commissioned for such an occasion, particularly one of this size and design, was unusual and would certainly have made a significant impact and a real statement.”

The full parure, including the briolettes in their earring settings, was worn to the next coronation, that of King George VI in 1937, by Frances’s daughter-in-law Anne Parsons.

Anne would go on to wear the emerald jewels again in 1953 at the coronation of our late Queen Elizabeth II, meaning these emerald briolettes have been present at three of the 20th-century’s four coronations.

Guy Burton added: “We are honoured to be offering this remarkable jewel for sale and wouldn’t it be wonderful for it to be snapped up and worn by one of the 1,000 guests at the Westminster Abbey ceremony on May 6?  It would be back in its familiar surroundings and in extremely good company.”