On April 5, 2012, historian Gregor Ewing began his six-week journey to retrace the five-month flight of Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746. It was a dangerous and physically rigorous escape across the Western Scottish Highlands and Islands, particularly for a prince who was the son of the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart, and grandson of the deposed James II of England. He landed on the shores of Scotland in July 1745 in an attempt to oust King George II and his Hanoverian line from the throne, which had become the birthright of his family in 1603 when King James VI of Scotland had travelled south to become King James I of England and Ireland. The Battle of Culloden was the last full-scale conflict ever fought on British soil. The Prince evaded capture, despite the great price placed on his head, and eventually made his way to France and Italy where he lived in exile. On his way to the ship that would take him to France, the Prince dressed as a woman while being rowed across the sea of the Hebrides by a woman named Flora MacDonald.
On May 14 and 15th the historical diamond brooch above will be sold at Sotheby’s Geneva, together with other noble and magnificent jewels, The Beau Sancy and The Murat Tiara, as well as the personal collection of Suzanne Belperron. The diamond brooch is centered by a 7.33-carat Fancy deep yellow diamond that comes from the collection of Prince Filippo Corsinsi, a descendant of the Florentine family whose history dates to the twelfth century and whose lineage includes several popes. The yellow diamond was offered to the Corsini family by Charles Edwards Stuart in the 1770s, in gratitude for their support during his years of exile. Sotheby’s adds a notation that the diamond was possibly inherited by the Prince through his mother, Marie-Clementina Sobieski, granddaughter of King John III of Poland, which would then be considered part of the Sobieski Jewelry Collection.
I’m off on a new adventure next week and working on a couple of projects, see you back here in May!