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1810
1820
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1860
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1900
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1950
Computer models depicting the history of the Hope Diamond, including (counterclockwise from top) the Tavernier, the French Blue, and the Hope Diamond.
1858
Charles Barbot published the first written speculation that the Hope Diamond is the recut French Blue.
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Portrait of Lord Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton Hope
1887
Lord Francis Hope, the grandson of Henry Thomas Hope, inherited the Hope Diamond. Burdened by debt, he was forced to put the diamond up for sale in 1901.
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Colored postcard showing the Kronprinz Wilhelm, the German trans-Atlantic passenger liner that Simon Frankel used to transport the Hope Diamond back to New York with him in 1901.
1901-1907
The Hope Diamond was sold by Lord Francis Hope and passed through the hands of several gem dealers and jewelry merchants before ending up in New York City.
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1887
The extravagant life of Lord Francis Hope

Henry Thomas Hope left his possessions, including the Hope Diamond, to his wife Anne Adéle Hope when he passed away in 1862. Anne, in turn, decided to leave the family treasures not to her daughter, Henrietta (whose husband was careless with money and often on the verge of bankruptcy) but to her grandson, Francis Hope. In her 1876 will, Anne named Francis as heir to the family treasures, stipulating that the estates and heirlooms were to be used during his lifetime and then passed on to another Hope descendant. Anne passed away in 1884, and Francis Hope claimed his inheritance when he turned 21, three years later (Kurin 2006).

Lord Francis Hope was less prudent than his grandmother might have hoped. He lived extravagantly, quickly spending his inheritance on traveling, entertainment, and gambling and sinking into tremendous debt. In 1892, he met a showgirl in New York City named May Yohé, a glamorous and charming actress from Pennsylvania. Hope and Yohé married in 1894 and continued to live well beyond their means. To avoid bankruptcy, Hope appealed to his relatives for permission to sell a portion of the family art collection, claiming that he could no longer afford to care for the paintings. After years of litigation, the family finally agreed to allow Hope to sell a selection of the paintings, but the sale was not enough to save him from financial crisis. In 1901, after more litigation with his family, Lord Francis offered the Hope Diamond for sale (Patch 1999).

In Depth

Gallery

Portrait of Lord Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton Hope
Timeline adapted from Post and Farges 2014 and sources therein. Updated 23 October 2017.

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