MP fears auction could lead to ‘great loss’ of estate gems
Heritage: Fettercairn Jewel among treasures under hammer by Sotheby’s
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