Japanese emperor cufflinks fetch £3500 at auction

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A PAIR of cufflinks given by the Japanese Emperor Hirohito to his Scottish chauffeur have fetched £3500 at an auction in the Capital.

The 18-carat gold chrysanthemum-styled cufflinks were given to driver Alec Irvine in 1921 by the then crown prince of Japan, after he drove him around Perthshire.

Clare Blatherwick, head of jewellery and silver for Bonhams Scotland, said: “This was a historic tour, the first time a member of the Imperial family had ventured overseas.

“Alec Irvine, a driver on the Duke of Atholl’s estate, was specifically assigned to be his chauffeur during his time in Perthshire.

“He picked up the crown prince at the Station Hotel in Perth, and they travelled at the head of a convoy to Blair Castle, stopping several times, including for a reception at Bankfoot.

“He was impressed by Alec’s driving and gave him the gold cufflinks in the style of chrysanthemums, the flower of the imperial royal family.”