Famous Kimberley diamond brooch to be auctioned soon

The magnificent brooch was a gift from Colonel Sir David Harris, pioneer of the South African diamond industry, Director of de Beers for 40 years, to his wife, Rosa Gabriel of Pomerania (Prussia), whom he married in 1873.

The brooch composed of seven flower-heads, the centre claw set with an old brilliant cut diamond weighing approximately 3.20 carats, enclosed by yellow and white old brilliant- and old European cut diamonds weighing a total of approximately 10.80 to 11.30 carats, mounted in gold and platinum, width approximately 37-mm.

Throughout his career Harris maintained his love for Kimberley and was instrumental in its defence: firstly as a volunteer in the Diamond-Fields Horse and the Kimberley Regiment and later as the commander of the Town Guard during the siege of Kimberley for which he was awarded the CMG and knighted in 1911. Harris died in 1942 and is remembered in an obituary as being ‘held in the highest esteem and affection by all with whom he came into contact (,,,…) his name will be remembered as one of the most devoted sons of South Africa’.
Harris’s love for the country, and in particular Kimberley and its people, was shared by his wife, Rosa, whom he had met on board ship on a return journey from England in 1872. They married a year later and she became as widely known in the town as her husband, beloved for her ‘charming courteous personality, entirely free from affectation’ and her tireless efforts for charitable causes with ‘her ever active desire to be of some assistance to the poor and the distressed’. This strong sense of duty and service is one that was shared by their daughter, Phoebe, an untiring philanthropist, and her daughter, Rosa Anne, who was a founder member of Save the Children (Cape) and the organisation’s chairlady for 30 years. The current owners, in keeping with the philanthropic heritage attached to this brooch, have indicated their intention to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Cape Branch of Save the Children, of which they too are members.

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