Diamond necklace 'expected to break auction house record'

Victorian necklace
Image caption The 19th Century necklace has not been seen for 40 years

A Victorian diamond necklace is expected to break the record for the most expensive item of jewellery sold at a Dorset auction house.

Duke's auctioneers in Dorchester believe the 53 cushion-cut diamonds, totalling over 64 carats, will reach at least £100,000.

The "stunning find" has recently come from an "important private collection", according to valuer Amy Brenan.

An emerald-set turban brooch which made more than £84,000, is the house record.

Ms Brenan added: "The largest diamond is five carats with the rest of the diamonds graduating along the neckline.

"These necklaces were known as rivieres.

"The idea of a literal river of diamonds gracing the wearers neck was so seducing in the Victorian period that many women copied the design of necklaces like this but using cheaper stones and in some cases, glass.

"To find an original diamond one is extremely exciting."

The item of jewellery, which also has a cluster diamond pendant, is said to be in its original condition.

The necklace, which is estimated at £100,000 to 150,000, goes under the hammer in December.

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