Queen Victoria left "A ruby, lasque and pearl tiara with enamel portrait at the back, to the Duchess of Albany".
This was the note of the Crown jeweller Garrard, and "lasque" means an un-faceted diamond.
The tiara is pictured above. The ruby, diamond and pearl tiara formed from twelve gold, tear-shaped sections mounted with diamonds and rubies, on a gold and pearl band, with enamel portraits at back.
The measurements of the jewel are: 4.7 x 13.7 x 11.9 cm. In the personal papers of Queen Victoria is found a "pen and ink drawing dated October 1841 with the following words inscribed beneath it 'By Prince Albert when giving directions to Mr Garrard'.
Which was clear matching the indian coronet in detail .....see the background on the right side of the website above!
The tiara was listed in the 1896 inventory of Queen Victoria's Jewels and then in the Indian Collection belonging to Crown by King George V since 1924, probably when the Duchess sold or exchanged it with Queen Mary, for a wearable jewel for her daughter, when Princess Alice married the Prince of Teck, Queen Mary's brother.
Duchess Helen of Albany sold another royal jewel, which was left to her by Queen Victoria. In 1916 she sent a row of 258 large graduated pearls for auction to Christie's. This rope had often been worn by Queen Victoria and was knocked down at £2700.
The proceeds of the sale were intended for the upkeep of the Deptford Fund, of which the Duchess of Albany had been President for over 21 years and the Maternity Home of the Professional Classes War Relief Council.
The Deptford Fund has a long history and association with royalty. Its most recent royal patron was the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who opened the new building in 1982 when she was pregnant with Prince William.
The following is the history of the Fund from the organization's website:
"The Albany has played a vital role for the people of Deptford for over 100 years. It was originally established in 1894 as The Deptford Fund by a group of philanthropically minded people. The Fund's founders wanted to improve the plight of Deptford's community, many of whom suffered from poverty and deprivation and the adverse effects of unemployment as a result of the closure of the docks in 1869.
The Deptford Fund provided financial support for local charitable enterprises, but within a few years decided to fund its own projects within a purpose built centre. In 1898 the foundation stone of the Albany Institute was laid and in 1899 the building, on the corner of Lamerton Street, Albury Street and Creek Road, was officially opened by its patron, The Duchess of Albany."
Sources: Royal Collection; The Times; The Albany
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