Two purses once belonging to Princess Diana's grandmother are on sale
Two dance purses once belonging to Princess Diana’s paternal grandmother Cynthia are up for auction and expected to fetch £1,500
- Countess Cynthia Spencer was Diana, the Princess of Wales’ grandmother
- Two purses belonging to the countess are up for auction on August 26
- The ‘nécessaires’ would have been used by the countess during dances
Two dance purses that once belonged to Princess Diana’s paternal grandmother are up for auction for an estimated £1,000 to £1,500.
Countess Cynthia Spencer was also the Queen Mother’s Lady of the Bedchamber from 1937 up until her death.
Two purses belonging to the countess, which would have held her lipstick and compact, are being sold at the Cheffins Jewellery, Silver and Watches Sale on August 26 in Cambridge, according to Tatler.
The ‘nécessaires’ would have been used by the countess during dances and glamorous other social occasions.
Two dance purses (one is pictured) that once belonged to Princess Diana’s paternal grandmother are up for auction for an estimated £1,000 to £1,500
Two purses (pictured is the second one) belonging to the countess, which would have held her lipstick and compact, are being sold at the Cheffins Jewellery, Silver and Watches Sale on August 26 in Cambridge
One is made from 9ct gold and constructed in chain maille, while the other is created from a gilt metal in a similar style.
Steven Collins, Jewellery, Silver and Watches Specialist at Cheffins, said: ‘Since the Roaring Twenties many of the fine jewellers and fashion houses have produced delicate evening bags and vanity cases known as ‘nécessaires’.
‘They were small, usually hard-sided boxes, often exquisitely decorated and designed to contain such things as a powder compact, lipstick, comb, mirror, note card and pencil.
‘These came about in the time of hedonism; air travel, cocktail parties, Hollywood and excitement and these became the new must-have item of any self-respecting lady of the time and typified the optimism and new found freedoms for women of the era.’
Countess Cynthia Spencer, as well as being the Princess of Wales’ grandparent, was also the Queen Mother’s Lady of the Bedchamber from 1937 up until her death. Pictured, Cynthia and her son Edward John Spencer at Eton College in 1937
Born Cynthia Ellinor Beatrix Hamilton in 1897, she married Viscount Althorp on 26 February 1919 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London.
They had two children, Lady Anne Spencer, who died last year at the age of 99, and Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, who was father to Princess Diana.
Countess Spencer was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
She continued in the role after Elizabeth became Queen Mother in 1952, and remained in the post until her death.
Lady Spencer died at the Spencers’ ancestral home, Althorp House in 1972 of a brain tumour, aged 75.
She was little known outside court and local circles until, twenty years after her death, Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales ‘believes that her grandmother looks after her in the spirit world.’
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