Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
A mourning pendant circa 1806, depicting Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. On her 17th birthday, Lady Georgiana Spencer married one of society’s most eligible bachelors, William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire. The marriage was not a happy one. William was reserved and unaffectionate whilst Georgiana on the other hand embraced her new role as the Duchess of Devonshire and indulged her love of fashion, inspiring a trend for elaborate hairstyles. She was known for her fashionable style, beauty and hostessing skills, loving nothing better than throwing fabulous parties and balls. The Duchess became came involved in liasons with other women and was eventually cruelly estranged from her husband. This pendant in silver and gold contains a watercolour portrait of Georgiana as a young girl, her hair voluminous and beribboned, on a sky blue ground and under crystal. The pendant surround is studded with rose-cut diamonds. It is surmounted by an urn flanked by stylised serpents, serpents forming part of the Devonshire crest. The pendant measures 1 and 1/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch and is immaculate.
The 18th century Cavendish perambulator with stylised serpents built for the 3rd Duke of Devonshire
Serpent motif on the Devonshire crest in sculpture