The Duchess of Windsor's Jewels Head To Auction
In the annals of jewelry collecting there are few with the taste and means to purchase like the late Wallis Warfield Simpson. When King Edward VIII proposed to the twice-divorced American socialite he caused a royal scandal. The man who give up his kingdom for love never stopped lavishing his wife with jewelry. It's been 23 years since the auction of the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor and now Sotheby's will offer twenty pieces for sale in London on November 30. The total sale is expected to bring in around £3 million ($4.582 million). Shown above is a diamond bracelet by Cartier, that once belonged to Wallis Simpson displayed in front of a Cecil Beaton portrait of her. The bracelet is expected to raise 350,000-450,000 pounds.
Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier's High Jewelry Director, created this realistic onyx and diamond panther bracelet designed in 1952. It's considered one of the best of her "three dimensional "great cats jewels.
The bracelet is expected to fetch 1,000,000-1,500,000 pounds ($1,520,000- 2,300,00). The completely articulated piece forms a "stalking pose" when clasped.
Jeanne Toussaint also created this flamingo brooch, decorated with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrines, and diamonds. It was bought by the Duchess in 1940. During the 1987 sale, this brooch caught the imagination of the world and became the emblem of the sale. It is listed with an estimate of 1,000,000-1,500,000 pounds ($1,520,000- 2,300,00).
The Windsors often incorporated their initials into the designs as shown in this emerald, ruby and diamond brooch by Cartier. This brooch is expected to realize 100,000-150,000 pounds ($152,000- 230,000). This piece was commissioned by the Duke in 1957 to mark their 20th wedding anniversary (note the Roman numerals at the base of the piece).
In addition to the Cartier pieces, the auction will also include a gold, mesh, ruby, turquoise and diamond purse by Van Cleef & Arpels and a series of silver items and medals that were once the property of Edward, the Prince of Wales.