Three Brothers Jewel
A pendant in the form of three rectangles (each set with a BALAS RUBY (SPINEL), known as ‘The Three Brothers’) in triangular arrangement, separated by three large pearls, in the centre of which was a deep diamond, pyramis cut, and having a large pearl suspended from the lowest rectangle. It dates from 1400/10 and is recorded in an inventory of 1419.
In 1467 it was inherited from his father by Charles the Bold (1433-77), last Duke of Burgundy, who carried it (together with the WHITE ROSE JEWEL) as a TALISMAN. It was taken from his tent by a soldier after his defeat by the Swiss at the battle of Grandson, 1476, and came into the possession of the Magistrates of Berne.
They sold it in 1504 to Jacob Fugger of Augsburg, whose son negotiated its sale to Henry VIII, which sale, after his death in 1547, was completed in 1551 by his successor, Edward VI (but another version is that Edward VI bought it in Antwerp in 1551).
Edward VI delivered it to the Treasury for safekeeping and in 1554 it was given to his sister, Mary I, when she married Philip II of Spain.
It was worn by Elizabeth I, mounted on a CARCANET, as shown in the Segar portrait made in 1585.
It was described in the 1605 inventory of articles declared by James I as Crown Jewels and also in a 1623 list of jewels removed from the Tower of London by James I and delivered to GEORGE HERIOT, Crown Jeweller, for resetting, and again in a letter, referring to it as ‘newlie sette’, sent by James I to his son (the future Charles I) telling him to wear it as an ENSEIGNE on his (unsuccessful) visit in 1623 to Spain to woo the Infanta.
It was pawned by Charles I in the Netherlands in 1626 and redeemed in 1639.
In 1642 it and other jewels were taken to the Netherlands by Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, and pawned and later sold through a bank in Rotterdam. It was last seen in 1650.
The diamond in the jewel was cut by LUDWIG VAN BERGHEM and is said to have been the first diamond cut in pyramid form. The jewel is shown in several drawings and engravings, as well as in a watercolour on vellum, made c. 1550, now in Basle.
White Rose JewelA pendant in the form of a gold open rose with white enamelled petals and having in the centre a large BALAS RUBY (SPINEL).
It was given by Edward IV of England to his sister, Margaret of York, upon her marriage in 1475 to Charles the Bold (1433 77), last Duke of Burgundy, from whose tent it was stolen (together with the THREE BROTHERS JEWEL) after his defeat by the Swiss at the battle of Grandson, 1476. It is depicted in a watercolour painted on vellum, c. 1500.
About Crown Jewellers
Berghem, Ludwig van (Louis de Berquen or Berchem).
A diamondcutter from Bruges, Belgium, who was under the patronage of Jacques Coeur (c. 1395-1456), the noted French financier from Bourges.
He is traditionally said (based on the writings in 1661 of his descendant Robert de Berchem) to have improved the surface reflection of diamonds by increasing the number of facets; but it is now recognized that there were numerous skilled lapidaries in Paris during the late 14th century who might also have done such cutting. It has been stated that the cut diamond of the Three Brother Jewel was the first diamond cut by him; however, the cutting of a diamond in half had been previously accomplished.
Heriot, George (1563-1624)
The Crown Jeweller to James I. Born in Edinburgh, he was admitted there to the Goldsmiths Guild in 1588 and became jeweller and goldsmith to James VI of Scotland, having been previously appointed in 1597 as Court Jeweller to his consort, Anne of Denmark (1574-1619).
Following the King to London when he became James I in 1603, Heriot made many jewels for Anne, most of them set with diamonds, but none is known to have survived. He also reset royal jewelry, including the Three Brother Jewel.