Gifts From The 'Queen Of Romance'

Gifts From The 'Queen Of Romance'

Dame Barbara Cartland Jewellery Comes To Auction

We are delighted to be selling a small collection of costume jewellery given to the vendor’s mother by the ‘queen of romance’ herself, Dame Barbara Cartland. More than 30 pieces will be offered in five lots on 26 April in our Jewellery, Designer Handbags and Accessories Auction. 

17 April 2023

The sellers’ mother, Hazel Clark worked for Dame Barbara from 1973 to 1995 with the items received over two decades as gifts for birthdays or Christmas.

Hazel went to work for Dame Barbara having seen a small advert in the local paper. Based at the writer’s home in Camfield Place in Essendon, Hertfordshire, she worked first as a secretary, predominately employed to type the final manuscripts before they went off for publication. At the time Mrs Waller was her personal assistant and Mrs Elliot the secretary who took down Dame Barbara’s words in shorthand during a two-hour dictation each day in the library. There was also a large amount of ‘fan mail’ to reply to and many signed photographs to send.

Allan warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Allan warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hazel stayed at Camfield Place for 22 years, eventually becoming Dame Barbara’s personal assistant before she retired. On occasion, when the author went on holiday, she would ask Hazel and her family to stay and look after the house. The vendor recalls decorating the Christmas tree as a girl and, when she was married, was loaned Dame Barbara’s Rolls Royce and chauffeur as a wedding car.

A costume jewellery suite, signed Ciner (£80 - £120)

A costume jewellery suite, signed Ciner (£80 - £120)

The costume jewellery received as gifts, numbering between four and 11 pieces per lot, have modest estimates. Typical is a parure (teardrop necklace, bracelet, earrings, ring) by New York firm Ciner in a faux ruby paste and clear paste guided at £80-100.

To view the full catalogue for our 26 April Jewellery, Designer Handbags and Accessories Auction click here.


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