MP fears auc­tion could lead to ‘great loss’ of es­tate gems

Her­itage: Fet­ter­cairn Jewel among trea­sures un­der ham­mer by Sotheby’s

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JAMIE ROSS

It would be a “great loss” to Scot­land if trea­sures from a north-east es­tate are al­lowed to leave the coun­try, an MP has said.

A stun­ning jewel will be among the lots this month when Sotheby’s auc­tion off some of the assets of a Scot­tish fam­ily. Some 400 items are up for sale from Fet­ter­cairn House – home to the Forbe­ses of Pit­sligo for gen­er­a­tions.

How­ever, the sale has drawn con­cern from Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh White­ford, who spoke out af­ter con­stituents ex­pressed con­cern about “what could hap­pen to th­ese items of real his­tor­i­cal value”. Mrs White­ford said: “As the spe­cial­ist at Sotheby’s said, many of th­ese items are a sig­nif­i­cant part of the his­tory of Scot­land. It truly would be a great loss if th­ese items were lost to the na­tion.”

More than £1mil­lion could be raised by the sale of the items. Among them is the Fet­ter­cairn Jewel, de­scribed as an “ex­tra­or­di­nary trea­sure” when it was dis­cov­ered. The gold and enamel locket pen­dant dates from the late 16th cen­tury and is ex­pected to fetch £30,000-£50,000. It fea­tures a faceted jacinth stone which was thought to pro­tect the wearer from light­ning and the plague.

The March 28 sale also in­cludes lots from Mon­te­viot House, in Jed­burgh, the home of the Mar­quesses of Loth­ian. The col­lec­tion ranges from Ro­man rings to pieces by Cartier. David Mac­don­ald, Sotheby’s spe­cial­ist in charge of the Fet­ter­cairn sale, said: “From Ja­co­bite swords and sporrans, and late 18th-cen­tury dec­o­ra­tive pieces, to Grand Tour sou­venirs – all th­ese trea­sures found their way to Fet­ter­cairn House.

“The lives and loves of the Forbes fam­ily, their aca­demic in­ter­ests and pas­sions were re­flected in the ob­jects.”

WEE GEM: The Fet­ter­cairn Jewel, a rare oval gold and enamel pen­dant from the late 16th cen­tury

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