I posted about Lyon & Turnbull’s auctions of Mary Stewart’s jewellery, books and Asian artworks in Mary Stewart auction on 15 September. Afterwards, I spotted that some of her jewellery had also gone to auction at Fellows & Sons – Jewellery and Watch Auctioneers, so I popped a little update on to the post. This has led to Nicola at Fellows getting in touch, and she is very kindly sharing information and images with us: thank you, Nicola! And I can’t go any further in this post until I say how satisfying I find it that the name of our Fellows correspondent is Nicola, which is of course the name of the heroine in The Moon-Spinners, the book that inspired Mary Stewart to design the above brooch. Also satisfying is the fact that Nicola’s sister is a big Mary Stewart fan: I think there are rather a lot of us!

Fellows sold the Cartier Moon-Spinners brooch pictured above for £17,500 (hammer price). Now, I’m not very clear on how auctions work, presumably sellers and perhaps buyers have to pay the auctioneer something, whether a percentage or a flat fee, for the auctioneer doing the selling – perhaps Nicola might like to explain exactly what ‘hammer price’ is and how it differs from the total price paid by a buyer or price obtained by a seller? [wonders which is the emoticon for ‘pleading smile’]

Nicola has sent a gorgeously glamorous video – yes, video! – of the Moon-Spinners brooch, which shows just how the brooch catches the light. Prepare to ooh and aah:

Isn’t that simply stunning? And it makes me think of Charity, heroine of Madam, Will You Talk?: remember when she sees Loraine for the first time and observes: ‘Being a woman myself, I naturally saw the enormous sapphire on her left hand almost before I  saw her.’ I reckon Charity would have loved this brooch that her creator designed! Although the piece was designed around 1970, and they specialised in old silver, I imagine all the antiques dealers in Madam, Will You Talk? coveting it too…

The other piece of jewellery that Fellows sold was a ruby ring from Mary Stewart’s estate, retailed by Cartier, for £3,000. Again courtesy of Nicola, we can look at pictures of this ring. I’m not really a brooch-wearer but I can picture this ring on my finger; I can’t however picture having that much spare cash – but that’s not a problem as it is no longer for sale. The woman who now owns the ring is, hopefully, aware and appreciative of its provenance.

What is your favourite piece of Mary Stewart jewellery? Is it on either of my auction posts, or have you spotted it in a photo of the writer? Please share any quotes from her books that are about jewellery too.

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