The Greville Peardrop Earrings, 1938
Cartier, New York and London, 1938
4.8 × 1.7 cm
In 1942, Mrs Ronald Greville (1863–1942) bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth her spectacular collection of over sixty pieces of jewellery.
Mrs Greville, the daughter of the brewer and philanthropist William McEwan (1827–1913), had married the elder son of the second Baron Greville in 1891 and was a leading society hostess and friend of the royal family. She was widowed in 1908 and had no children. Mrs Greville left her house, Polesden Lacey in Surrey (where the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent their honeymoon in 1923), to the nation.
The jewellery collection that she left to Queen Elizabeth contained pieces by the leading firms of the day, notably Boucheron and Cartier, the latter being the firm from which Mrs Greville purchased these earrings in 1938.
The earrings are formed of pentagonal tops, each suspending an emerald-cut diamond and pear-shaped drop set in platinum. The pear-shaped drops weigh respectively 20.66 and 20.26 metric carats.
Queen Elizabeth wore them regularly and they were bequeathed to The Queen in 2002.