Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, who was born on this day in 1920! The youngest of the infamous Mitford sisters who married 12th Duke of Devonshire and made Chatsworth House into a glorious tourist destination, the Duchess possessed some spectacular Heirlooms of the Cavendish Family, but also added quite a few heirlooms into the collection, including the Craven Brooch!
Composed of two Kashmir Sapphires set in paired diamond hearts, from which a large pear-shaped pink diamond is suspended, the Craven Brooch, which can also be worn as a bangle, was created in the 1890s for the famed Cornelia, Countess of Craven. The Brooch was acquired by the 11th Duke of Devonshire at the Sotheby’s Auction of the Countess of Craven’s Jewels in 1961, and gifted to the Duchess.
One of the first appearances of the Duchess of Devonshire in the Craven Brooch have in 1963, when she wore it for the Wedding of her elder daughter, Lady Emma Cavendish, to Tobias Tennant, along with a Diamond Honeysuckle on her hat.
A few years later, the Duchess wore the Craven Brooch at the front of her evening gown during the wedding celebrations of her only son, the then Marquess of Hartington, to Amanda Heywood-Lonsdale in 1967, who are now the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
In 1984, the Duchess of Devonshire was photographed wearing the Craven Brooch during a photoshoot with her daughter, the then Lady Sophie Murphy, during a party at Chatsworth House.
More recently, the Craven Brooch was exhibited at Chatsworth to mark the Duchess’ 90th Birthday in 2010. After her death in 2014, the piece seems to have been inherited by her son, the 12th Duke, and after escaping the auction at Sotheby’s in 2015, it was recently featured on the Chatsworth website. Lets hope this striking jewel makes a reappearance soon.