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Virginia Salem
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Published: 12 April 2016

Prestigious Collection of Newport Jewels Comes to Auction

Freeman's is pleased to offer the distinguished Collection of Newport Jewels from the Estate of Julia Sands Chase in our May 2 Jewelry & Watches auction.

Julia Sands Chase was a descendant of a prominent Newport, Rhode Island, naval family, instrumental in making it the yachting center it is today. Her great-grandfather, Dr. Austin Ledyard Sands, was an original incorporator of the medical board of the Newport Hospital in 1873 and traveled the world extensively until his death in Cairo in 1877. It was during these trips that Dr. Sands purchased many jewels in London for his wife, Julia, and the original receipts that accompany some of this jewelry are clearly marked, “Mrs. Austin Sands, London 1883-1894.”

Dr. Sands left his fortune to his only son, Frederic Parker Sands, Julia’s grandfather, who was instrumental in organizing the Newport Yacht Racing fund. He was a charter member and Vice Commodore of the Rhode Island Yacht Club, Commodore of the Warwick Yacht Club, and Officer- in Charge of the Newport Station Number 6 of the New York Yacht Club. The Sands family has long been identified with Newport, not as summer tourists, but year-round residents. Frederic’s 1884 marriage to Julia Elizabeth Simpson, daughter of Rear Admiral Edward Simpson, began the Newport naval connection and several marriages to naval officers within the family followed in the succeeding years.

The jewels offered in Freeman’s May 2 auction of Jewelry & Watches would have been purchased by Dr. Sands, bequeathed to Frederic, and worn by Mary Sands, Julia’s grandmother, who married Lorillard Spencer in Newport’s historic Trinity Church in 1905. According to the September 23 issue of Town and Country Magazine that year, this happy event “attracted much attention.”

Included in this prestigious collection are a Belle Époque emerald and diamond stomacher and a pair of natural pearl, diamond, silver and white gold drop earrings, an Art Deco natural pearl, diamond and platinum bracelet, other Belle Époque and Victorian rings, bracelets, and necklaces crafted in diamonds, emeralds, natural pearls and more.

Browse the Auction Catalogue

Portrait of Mary Sands of Newport Rhode Island, 1905. Shown wearing the diamond and emerald stomacher brooch (Lot 229) and natural pearl drop and diamond earrings (Lot 230).

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