London, Dec 13: A sapphire bracelet, collection of tiepins, and a coral choker are some of the exquisite jewels from the personal collection of the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor that went under the hammer here at Sotheby’s and fetched a whopping $1,016,137, much above its estimates.
At the “Fine Jewels” sale Thursday, these jewels shed a light on the love affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. Simpson was an American socialite, and her third husband, Duke of Windsor, abdicated his throne to marry her.
“Jewels of Duchess are not very much understated. They are quite powerful and strong and brightly coloured, sharp and well defined, just like her features”, this is how a video on Sotheby’s site describes her collection.
The sapphire bracelet made by Cartier in 1945 fetched maximum in the sale and was sold $37,769. The Duchess was seen wearing this bracelet on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Paris in 1972, the last time the Queen was to see her uncle, the Duke of Windsor, prior to his death.
The majority of the pieces were presented some 26 years after they were last auctioned in the sale of “The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor” at Sotheby’s Geneva.
“The results show the longstanding fascination for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, their lives, their lifestyle and their exceptional taste. On the rare occasions when they have surfaced on the market in the last 30 years, jewels from their collection have consistently set new benchmarks and today was no exception,” Bryony Meredith, head of Sotheby’s London jewellery department said in a statement released Friday.
“The offering included not only masterful examples of 20th century jewellery but also pieces whose intimate inscriptions trace the life of four generations of British monarchs and tell what is perhaps one the greatest love stories of our times, the romance that led Edward VIII to abdicate the throne of Great Britain,” she added.