This truly special antique jewellery box was given by John Sholto Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, to his new wife Sibyl Douglas, the Marchioness of Queensberry, on their wedding day in 1866.
Retailed by Charles Frederick Hancock, this antique jewellery box in vibrant Coromandel is edged and inlaid with brass and finished with a large engraved monogram beneath a Marchioness’ coronet. The ’SQ’ monogram denotes Sybil Queensberry.
The interior of the box, lined with purple velvet and moiré silk, presents two front sections and a full width rear section. The front flap of the box drops forward, allowing the two front sections, both with four partitioned compartments and a ring/ cuff link channel, to swing out at right angles to the box. A lower level of five further velvet-lined compartments are fitted underneath.
A recessed brass plate on the foremost interior wall releases a spring-loaded drawer directly below. A push button to the rear rim of the box releases a second lower drawer. Both drawers have been constructed from solid Satinwood with intricately dovetailed joinery.
The interior walls of the lid are veneered in Coromandel and inlaid with double brass stringing. There is a matching brass inlaid Coromandel framed mirror fitted to the underside of the lid, that has a ruched velvet panel to the reverse. A concealed push button in the roof of the lid springs the mirror forward to reveal a leather-bound letter wallet behind. Set above the letter wallet is an ornate brass plaque that is engraved with, ‘To my darling Sibyl on OUR day - 26th February 1866’. The right-hand hinge of the lid has incremental adjustments to allow the mirror (when stored inside the lid) to be adjusted for the ideal viewing angle.
Set into the front flap of the box is a recessed Bramah patent lock; the back plate of which has been engraved with the retailer’s mark of, ‘C.F. Hancock - Jeweller and Silversmith to the Queen and the Prince & Princess of Wales - 38 & 39 Bruton St. Bond St.’
John Sholto Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, was born on the 20th July 1844. He was a Scottish nobleman born in Florence, Italy. Sibyl Montgomery was born on the 28th May 1845. Having formerly announced their engagement in November 1865, John Sholto Douglas and Sibyl Montgomery were married at the parish church of St George, Hanover Square, London on the 26th February 1866. Upon marriage, Sibyl became the Marchioness of Queensberry. She wore a white wedding dress trimmed in satin with a Brussel lace overlay, and her ten bridesmaids were dressed in white and mauve. The wedding reception was held at the Montgomery home at 8 Chesterfield Street, Mayfair, London. Sibyl’s father, Alfred Montgomery, presided over the wedding breakfast that was served to a large and distinguished guest list, including the 2nd Duke of Wellington and the Duchess of Marlborough.
John and Sibyl spent their wedding night at the Braxted Park country estate in Essex, before taking permanent residence at Kinmount House in Scotland.
In 1867, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry gained notoriety for endorsing the governing rules of boxing. To this day they are still referred to as the ‘Marquess of Queensberry rules’.
John and Sibyl had five children together: Francis Archibald Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig (1867-1894), Percy Sholto Douglas, 10th Marquess of Queensberry (1868-1920), Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas (1870-1945), Lord Sholto George Douglas (1872-1942), and Lady Edith Gertrude Douglas (1874-1963).
The ever brash and controversial 9th Marquess of Queensberry was to gain further notoriety when, in 1895, he got involved in a bitter legal dispute over the alleged ongoing homosexual relationship between playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde and his son Alfred Bruce Douglas. The case resulted in Wilde spending two years in prison.
John Sholto Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry died on the 31st January 1900 at the age of 55. Sibyl Douglas died at her house in Hove, East Sussex on the 31st October 1935 at the age of 90. She is buried alongside her son, Alfred Bruce Douglas, at the Friary Churchyard of St Francis and St Anthony, Crawley, West Sussex. ... READ more READ less