One item was a bracelet containing a miniature of Prince Albert as a child, the bracelet being set with lask diamonds. Most of the information in the press and jewellery websites has been taken directly from an article by Diana Scarisbrick published by Sotheby's.
I found the article by Diana Scarisbrick ambiguous regarding the bracelet with the portrait of Prince Albert.
See Sotheby's site at https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/the-family-collection-of-the-late-countess-mountbatten-of-burma
Was Diana Scarisbrick actually stating that the bracelet being auctioned was worn by Queen Victoria when she announced her intention to marry to Parliament on 16 January 1840?
Scarisbrick stated, "Thus, the bracelet with a miniature of Prince Albert was Queen Victoria’s only ornament when she announced her forthcoming marriage to her Ministers in 1840."
The only announcement Queen Victoria made in 1840 about her marriage to a political body was to Parliament on 16 January 1840. (https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1840/jan/16/the-queens-speech-the-address )
As far as I can ascertain no separate announcement was made to Ministers.
I could not find anything about either the clothes or jewels Queen Victoria wore on 16 January 1840 in the Queen's Journal.
Or was Scarisbrick, perhaps, referring to the announcement by Queen Victoria of her marriage to the Privy Council on 23 November 1839?
In her Journal, Queen Victoria recorded her nervousness on that day and that she wore a bracelet with a miniature of Prince Albert.
But could Queen Victoria's remarks in her Journal for 23 November be related to the bracelet auctioned by Sotheby's?
I would argue no!
Courtesy of Sotheby's https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2021/the-family-collection-of-the-late-countess-mountbatten-of-burma/a-diamond-set-and-enamelled-gold-bracelet?locale=en
In her Journal Queen Victoria, in relating a conversation with her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, on 23 November 1839 after the Privy Council session, stated that lord Melbourne asked her,
"You have got a picture there"
Queen Victoria said she took the bracelet off to allow Lord Melbourne to look more closely at the portrait of Prince Albert. While they agreed that the likeness was good, it was not considered flattering and Lord Melbourne said, "Ross always likes to make people worse than they are," adding "he thinks it such fun".
If the miniature in the bracelet worn on 23 November 1839 was by Ross then it can not be the one auctioned by Sotheby's in 2021.
The comments of both Queen Victoria and Lord Melbourne tend to suggest a contemporary portrait of Prince Albert, not of him as a child.
Perhaps more importantly, the miniature in the bracelet auctioned is signed and dated and an image of this can be seen on Sotheby's website.
Apart from the fact that the painting in the auctioned bracelet is by Henry Pierce Bone, it is dated May 1842 which, to my way of thinking, makes it impossible to have been the one worn by Queen Victoria on 23 November 1839.
So what did Queen Victoria wear as a bracelet when she announced her marriage to the Privy Council on 23 November 1839 and possibly when she announced her plans to Parliament on 16 January 1840?
In her Journal Queen Victoria recorded that on the evening of 22 November 1839 at dinner she wore a bracelet with "Albert's picture" which "has been copied by Miss Ross" Queen Victoria then recorded, "it is Albert's present (bracelet and picture) and is to be set in a very pretty bracelet making in Paris, but I have meanwhile had it put in another bracelet, in order to wear it, and wore it this night for the 1st time."
I strongly suspect that Queen Victoria wore the same bracelet on 23 November at the Privy Council meeting. That would fit with Lord Melbourne's reference to Ross (Sir William Ross). His sister, Magdalena Ross also did miniatures for Queen Victoria. She is better known under her married name of Magdalena Dalton.
The other interesting question is which of the two portraits done by William Ross was the one which Magdalena Ross copied?
There are 2 possibilities
This portrait was commenced in October 1839, and might be a candidate.
But later paintings of Queen Victoria wearing a bracelet with the portrait of Prince Albert suggest that a later Ross portrait was the basis for the miniature in Queen Victoria's bracelet.
According to the Royal Collection the sittings for this portrait didn't start until 27 February 1840 and so this cannot be the basis of the miniature in the bracelet worn on 23 November 1839.
Certainly this painting appears to be the basis for the miniature seen in some paintings of Queen Victoria wearing a bracelet with prince Albert's portrait. For example -
John Partridge's 1840 painting of the Queen
Detail showing Prince Albert.
I would love to have access to more information about which portrait and which bracelet were worn by Queen Victoria on 23 November 1839 and possibly on 16 January 1940. Perhaps, at the end of the day, Queen Victoria had 2 separate bracelets with two different portraits of Prince Albert based on portraits done by Sir William Ross.
One thing seems certain: it would not have been the bracelet recently auctioned by Sotheby's.