Spectacular jewelry belonged first to Lady Ludlow Alice Wernher Mankiewicz.
Alice Sedgwick née Mankiewicz, Lady Ludlow,
former wife of Sir Julius Wernher, and later second wife of 2nd Baron Ludlow; daughter of James Mankiewicz.
Lady Alice Wernher, as she was known throughout the period of the First World War, was not only the lady of the manor of Luton with her country residence at Luton Hoo.
Alice Sedgewick Mankiewicz, born 1862, was the socialite daughter of Jacob James Mankiewicz, from Danzig. On June 12th, 1888, she married German-born Julius Charles Wernher (born April 9th, 1850), who made his fortune from diamond mines in South Africa. Their London address was Bath House, Piccadilly, where Sir Julius built up a considerable art collection.
The Luton connection began in 1903, when Sir Julius bought Luton Hoo. He had the interior remodelled and extensive modifications made to the exterior, giving the house the look that became familiar to Lutonians until its closure to the public in 1997. But Sir Julius died on May 21st, 1912, and Lady Wernher remained a widow throughout the Great War.
There were three Wernher children - Sir Derrick Julius (June 7th, 1889 - March 6th, 1948), Major-General Sir Harold August (January 16th, 1893 - June 30th, 1973) and Second-lieutenant Alexander Pigott (born January 18th, 1897), who was killed in action with the Welsh Guards at Ginchy on September 10th, 1916, during the battle of the Somme, and was buried in the Citadel Military Cemetery, near Fricourt.
On September 25th, 1919, Lady Wernher remarried and became Baroness Ludlow. Her new husband was Henry Ludlow Lopes, 2nd Baron Ludlow, who was born on September 30th, 1865, and also had a previous marriage.
It was to be a short and not especially happy marriage. A most elaborate trousseau of mauve THERE is nothing of particular note lingerie and purple gowns, combined to remark in connection with I rare Venetian laces, sable, and land excepting that Mr. Macpherson, had been prepared by two whose resignation seemed imminent on famous firms, the heads of neither house account of his health, is temporarily to having tho least for what women remain. During his visit to London the clothes were wanted. The only he tock occasion to the alarmist one in the r.ecrot was the head dressreports as to his condition. In other maker, who has since received a witch words, he has no taste for being pulled from Lady Ludlow.
Baron Ludlow died on November 8th, 1922, at the age of 57 in a horse riding accident. As he had no children, his title died with him.
On June 12th, 1920, Lady Wernher presented the Luton Hoo Memorial Park to the people of Luton in memory of her son killed in 1916. On December 10th,1922, she unveiled the town war memorial outside the Town Hall to all the men of Luton who gave their lives in the Great War.
Lady Ludlow died on November 30th, 1945, at 82 Portland Place, London.
Lady Ludlow's £2,828,000 will included bequests to numerous institutions and charities, including the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Luton Children's Hospital and Luton Parish Church. Her staff also benefited.
The Hoo itself was inherited by Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher.
Her famous pearls, are from Sir Julius Wernher, which she wore often as a long string seen on the picture above, was left to her Alexandra Anastasia Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn was the eldest daughter of Lt.-Col. Harold Phillips and his wife Georgina Wernher. Her maternal grandmother was Countess Anastasia de Torby, otherwise known as Lady Zia Werner, the daughter of Grand Duke Mikhailovich of Russia and Countess Sophie Merenberg, Countess de Torby.
‘Sacha’ as she was known to family and friends, was a keen philanthropist and founder of the Pushkin prize and the Pushkin Trust, named after her ancestor, the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, who was the grandfather of Countess de Torby.
The threes natural pearl necklaces, offered through the family from the Duchess of Abercorn’s great grandmother Alice Sedgwick Mankiewicz.
After displaying great business acumen buying and exporting diamonds from the Kimberley mines in South Africa, Werner eventually acquired a controlling interest in De Beers Consolidated Mines and was created a baronet in 1905. He accumulated great wealth and an important art collection which was kept at his London home in Piccadilly and at his country house Luton Hoo. After his death, his widow Alice, Lady Wernher, remarried on 25th September 1919 to Henry Lopes, 2nd Baron Ludlow and became known as Lady Ludlow.
Lady Ludlow on top is wearing a large pear shaped diamond on a chain, a belle epoque collier de chien/pearl and- diamond dog-collar consisting of fifteen rows of perfectly matched pearls and beautifully set diamond clasp frontside and a fine diamond tiara of scrolls.
Most is sold on auction, in 1946:
Source:Christie's; The Scotsman; LutonHouse, The Hoo ;