Previous News - £50,000 Jewellery Sale for Charity


A sumptuous diamond necklace worth up to £20,000 is among a cache of valuable antique jewellery from the estate of a philanthropic Bethersden, Ashford man to be sold by leading Kent auctioneers The Canterbury Auction Galleries. The collection is expected to raise a total of £50,000, the money going to the Peter Adams Trust to assist worthwhile local causes.

The 38 lots of jewellery will be sold as part of the auctioneer’s Two Day sale on Tuesday and Wednesday May 24-25. Since Mr Adams’ death in 1999, the collection has been locked away in the safe keeping of trustees who administer his bequest, the purpose of which was primarily intended to maintain and conserve the farmland and properties that he owned.

The Adams family lived in Bethersden since at least the early part of the 19th century, owning a considerable amount of farmland and houses over the years. They were primarily gentlemen farmers and businessmen, although Peter Adams (1920-1999) broke the mould. The son of John Turk Adams and Grace Henrietta Ellinor Adams (formerly Howorth), who died in 1945 and 1957 respectively, Peter was initially a sergeant in the Medical Corps during the Second World War. His mother's family was well placed in Victorian times and resided at Cripland Court, Lindfield, Sussex, a large country property.

Peter saw active service in various parts of the world, including India and Burma and was also stationed in Germany working for the Foreign Office, where he probably utilised his linguistic skills. On returning to England, he took up teaching using his knowledge of languages in various schools in Southern England, including the Tonbridge Public School.

When he eventually returned to Bethersden, he lived a peaceful and quiet life at his estate "The Thorne”, keeping occupied with his love of gardening and bee-keeping. Peter had no close relatives and left his estate for charitable purposes. The contents of his home were sold by The Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2001.

The jewellery belonged to Mr Adams’ mother. The necklace leading the collection is comprised of 62 collet set old cut diamonds of graduating size and hung with a flowerhead pattern pendant, itself set with a further 26 old cut diamonds. It is estimated at £15,000-20,000.

Nearest contender to top honours is a good late Victorian sapphire and diamond cross pattern brooch or pendant. It is set with a central rectangular Ceylon sapphire weighing approximately 4 carats, which is surrounded by eight oval sapphires and 82 old cut diamonds. The brooch is estimated at £4,000-6,000.

A late Victorian five stone diamond ring set with old cut and two rose diamonds is estimated at £1,500-2,000, while a late Victorian 18ct gold longuard chain measuring 58 inches and weighing 76 grams, is estimated at £1,400-1,800.

Two late Victorian gold and enamel lockets touchingly contain miniature portraits, one of Mr Adams’ mother as a girl and her father Henry Howarth in military uniform, inscribed “In Memory of Father, born Feby. 27th 1845, died June 18th 1899. The other also contains a lock of hair and is inscribed “In Memoriam Henry Howarth, born Feby. 27th 1845, died June 18th 1899). Each is estimated at £400-600,

A late Victorian gold bracelet set with seven graduated half pearls interspersed by 14 old cut diamonds is estimated at £750-1,000 and a late Victorian gold Milanese bracelet with blue enamel and a diamond-set buckle set with 15 old cut diamonds at £1,250-1,600.

The collection also includes pendants, rings, stick pins, earrings, fob seals, and a lady’s pocket watch. It will be on view along with further jewellery from various owners, fine art, antiques and collectors’ items at the auctioneer’s Station Road West salerooms on Saturday May 21 from 10am to 4pm; Sunday May 22 from 12 noon to 4pm; Monday May 23 from 10am to 7pm and on the morning of the sales from 8.30am. For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01227 763337.

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