In October, Fellows in Birmingham will sell an enamel fob watch seen in British impressionist Philip Wilson Steer’s work Mrs. Geoffrey Blackwell. The necklace was a Boucheron blue enamel fob watch. Shirley’s family has been using the fob for generations, and they are now selling it at auction.

The early 20th century Belle Époque platinum and gold fob is embellished with sapphire borders, blue guilloche enamel, and rose-cut diamonds. This charming little fob is approximately 4.6 cm long and 22 g in weight. It is entered to auction with an estimate of £3,000 – £4,000.

Belle Epoque Fob 2
Photo courtesy of Fellows Auctioneers

Fine Jewellery Catalogue Manager, Ben Randall said:

French turn-of-the-century jewellery is some of the finest craftsmanship available. This miniature work of art is no exception, from the most skilful guilloché enamel, down to the sapphire surround and crown, barely visible to any but the wearer. What makes this piece particularly interesting is its provenance. It is so special that we can see it being worn in Steer’s portrait of Shirley Blackwell.

Mrs Geoffrey Blackwell by British impressionist Philip Wilson Steer HD BS230
Philip Wilson Steer, Mrs Geoffrey Blackwell, Oil on canvas: 50(h) x 40(w) in / 127(h) x 101.6(w) cm, Signed and dated lower left: P Steer 1911

About the Portrait of Mrs. Geoffrey Blackwell

Shirley Maud Lawson Johnston, the future Mrs. Geoffrey Blackwell, was born in 1889.

In 1909, she wed Geoffrey Blackwell, O.B.E. (1884-1943). In 1911, her husband gave Steer the job of painting her picture. It depicts her as a young woman sitting in a grassy area with blue skies as a backdrop. The image was auctioned by Christie’s for £74,500 in 2016.

It was offered in a specialised auction of British Impressionist, Victorian, and Pre-Raphaelite art. She is depicted in the painting sporting a blue pendant necklace, a sunhat, and a white outfit.

About the Auction

The Fine Jewellery auction will take place on October 6th 2022 at 10 am with viewings in London and Birmingham. Virtual viewings are available by request.



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