Countess Bathurst’s collection of royal gifts thought to be worth £2million go up for sale

The impressive collection of Gloria, Dowager Countess Bathurst, is now up for grabs – including royal gifts such as a ‘bizarre’ bed cover from Queen Anne and a vintage Cartier tiara.

Thought to be worth a staggering £2million, the 255 lots – which boast items cultivated by the former American model as well as inherited from her husband Henry, the 8th Earl Bathurst – are being auctioned at Christie’s, in London, next month.

Gloria was thrust into the limelight following her death in 2018, aged 90, after it was revealed she had cut her stepson Allen, now the 9th Earl Bathurst, out of her will.

Instead, she bequeathed almost her entire fortune of more than £33million to two interior designer friends. 

Gloria’s collection contains objects that have been in the Bathurst family for more than 300 years, with the aristocratic household boasting courtiers to Queen Anne.

Here, FEMAIL reveals some of the dazzling pieces contained in the collection…   

The impressive collection of Gloria, Dowager Countess Bathurst (pictured in 2014), is now up for grabs – including royal gifts such as a ‘bizarre’ bed cover from Queen Anne and a vintage Cartier tiara

1, Embroidered ‘Bizarre’ Bedcover from Queen Anne 

Queen Anne gifted close friend Frances, Lady Bathurst, an Embroidered 'Bizarre' Bedcover (pictured) which is estimated to fetch a whopping £25,000 to £40,000 at auction

Queen Anne gifted close friend Frances, Lady Bathurst, an Embroidered ‘Bizarre’ Bedcover (pictured) which is estimated to fetch a whopping £25,000 to £40,000 at auction

Queen Anne gifted close friend Frances, Lady Bathurst, an Embroidered ‘Bizarre’ Bedcover which is estimated to fetch a whopping £25,000 to £40,000 at auction. 

The last Stuart monarch, who was queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1702 to 1714, is remembered for achieving the union of England and Scotland in 1707 and was recently portrayed by Oscar-winner Olivia Colman in The Favourite.

It is thought the bedsheet was made in 1710 before being gifted by the monarch to the family.

The auctioneers believe the item was created by James Leman, a renowned designer of silk patterns and a master weaver during his time in 18th century.

2. Vintage Cartier tiara 

There are also multiple jewels in the collection, including an early 20th Century diamond tiara (pictured above)

There are also multiple jewels in the collection, including an early 20th Century diamond tiara (pictured above)

Who was the Dowager Countess Bathurst?

Gloria, Dowager Countess Bathurst, was born in 1927 in New Jersey.

She went from rag to riches thanks to her good looks, being picked up as a model  for couturiers such as Jacques Fath and Christian Dior in the late 1940s and 50s. 

She wed lawyer David Rutherston in 1965 before marrying Henry, 8th Earl Bathurst in 1978 following her first husband’s death.

Gloria, Dowager Countess Bathurst, who was born in 1927 in New Jersey, pictured during her modelling days

Gloria, Dowager Countess Bathurst, who was born in 1927 in New Jersey, pictured during her modelling days

They divided their time between the Cirencester Park family seat and their Lennox Gardens apartment in Chelsea.

The Countess was thrust into the limelight following her death in 2018, aged 90, after it was revealed she had cut her stepson Allen, now the 9th Earl Bathurst, out of her will. 

Instead, she bequeathed almost her entire fortune of more than £33million to two interior designer friends.

This came following a previous court battle over her husband’s belongings after he died in 2011, which she lost. 

There are also multiple jewels in the collection, including an early 20th Century diamond tiara commissioned from the French luxury brand Cartier and belonged to Lilias, Countess Bathurst (1871-1965).

She was known for being the sole heir of her father, inheriting both his wealth and The Morning Post newspaper which she merged with The Daily Telegraph in 1937. 

Auctioneers say the headpiece could sell for between £200,000 to £300,000. 

It includes stones taken from two older tiara’s that Lilias, Countess Bathurst inherited from her mother Lady Glenesk. 

3. Art Deco pendant watch from Cartier 

There is also a Art Deco pendant watch (above) from Cartier up for grabs for between an estimated £30,000 to £40,000

There is also a Art Deco pendant watch (above) from Cartier up for grabs for between an estimated £30,000 to £40,000

There is also a Art Deco pendant watch from Cartier up for grabs for between an estimated £30,000 to £40,000.

Christie’s say: ‘The Art Deco pendant watch showcases Cartier’s highly innovative approach to design and attention to detail. 

‘This small jewel is lavishly set with various gemstones and decorated with fine enamelling displaying the strong chromatic contrasts and geometry so typical of the period.

‘The result is sleek and totally modern but the secret compartment, engraved poem and level of craftsmanship are redolent of an intricate Renaissance jewel conveying a hidden message to the wearer.’

It was given by Allen Bathurst, Lord Apsley to his wife Viola Apsley, neé Meeking, probably to mark their wedding in 1924. 

4. Pearl necklace from Queen Anne

A pearl and diamond necklace (above) passed down the family for generations after being gifted to Frances' daughter-in-law by Queen Anne is included in the collection

A pearl and diamond necklace (above) passed down the family for generations after being gifted to Frances’ daughter-in-law by Queen Anne is included in the collection

A pearl and diamond necklace passed down the family for generations after being gifted to Frances’ daughter-in-law by Queen Anne is included in the collection.

It is composed of 39 natural pearls and old-cut diamonds, with auctioneers believing it could fetch between £10,000 to £15,000.

The regal-looking necklace was considered a great heirloom and was proudly displayed in the portraits of the female relatives. 

The collection also includes diplomatic gifts, such as Viennese flower paintings on porcelain panels by famed Austrian painter Joseph Nigg.

The artwork was thought to be a gift of gratitude from the Emperor of Austria to the 3rd Earl Bathurst following the defeat of Napoleon.

5. Dinner-service set from a King of Prussia

Further royal lots include a late 18th century Berlin porcelain 'Grand Duke of Courland' pattern part dinner-service (pictured) estimated to go for £15,000 to £25,000

Further royal lots include a late 18th century Berlin porcelain ‘Grand Duke of Courland’ pattern part dinner-service (pictured) estimated to go for £15,000 to £25,000

Further royal lots include a late 18th century Berlin porcelain ‘Grand Duke of Courland’ pattern part dinner-service estimated to go for £15,000 to £25,000.

It was given to Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst (1762-1834) when Secretary of State for War and the Colonies (through the years 1812-1827) by Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia.

As well as Bathurst family heirlooms, there are also several pieces of art that Gloria inherited from her first husband, lawyer David Rutherston.

These include portraits by the Rutherston brothers – notable British figures on the 20th century Modern Art scene – who were her husband’s father and uncle.

Many have never been sold on the open market before, instead being passed from relative to relative.      

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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