Culture department tries to stop Mountbatten's bandeau leaving Britain

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A unique Art Deco headband/bracelet adorned with sapphires, emeralds and rubies bought by Lord Mountbatten's wife from the house of Cartier has been temporarily blocked from leaving the country in a bid to save it for the nation.

A unique Art Deco headband/bracelet adorned with sapphires, emeralds and rubies bought by Lord Mountbatten's wife from the house of Cartier has been temporarily blocked from leaving the country in a bid to save it for the nation.

The Department for Culture stepped in to put the export ban on the bandeau, which was designed in 1928 in the form of a sinuous creeper, because it is one of the finest surviving items of jewellery ever made in London, it said yesterday.

It was made by English Art Works, a company established by Cartier in 1922 and staffed with British craftsmen in response to unemployment in the jewellery industry during the depression.

The piece, which has been deferred at a price of £300,000 (excluding VAT), is regarded as "an object of pre-eminent importance to the history of jewellery in England between the two world wars". There is no multi-gem Art Deco jewel of comparable significance.

It has been sold abroad in a private deal.

Comments