"You can never be too rich or too thin"
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
That has to be one of my favourite quotes. It amuses me although I don't agree - you can be too thin and I have very little regard for money. It should say "... and you can never have too much bling!" I really can't refer to any of this as bling as it contains some of the most glorious items in the world.
Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor had amazing style and brilliant taste in fine jewellery. Billed as the most important collection of the 20th century, more of her unique pieces go on sale this evening at Sotheby's. The last auction of the Duchess of Windsor's collection raised a staggering £43 million more than estimated.
Some of her most iconic pieces, all made for her by the finest jewellers in Paris are included in the sale. Each piece has a fantastic history, marking many personal events in the Duke and Duchesses lives.
My favourite piece has always been the platinum, diamond and onyx panther bracelet. All the Cartier panther jewellery she owned was amazing. I'd absolutely love to know who buys it!
Exceptional Jewels and Precious Objects Formerly in the Collection of The Duchess of Windsor
Sotheby's London, 30th November 2010 at 7pm
This bracelet is a stunning feat of engineering, it even moves like a panther
Details from Sotheby's catalogue
THE ONYX AND DIAMOND PANTHER BRACELET, CARTIER, PARIS, 1952
The articulated body designed to encircle the wrist and to assume a stalking attitude, pavé-set with brilliant- and single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut onyx, the eyes each set with a marquise-shaped emerald, wearing length approximately 165mm, total length approximately 195mm, signed Cartier, Paris and numbered, French assay and maker's marks; the bracelet divides in two places, under the head and in the centre of the back, the tongue-piece of the latter inscribed, Cartier, Paris; the clasp numbered, several small stones deficient.
Estimate £1,000,000—1,500,000 GBP
THE RUBY, CITRINE AND DIAMOND FLAMINGO CLIP, MOUNTED BY CARTIER, PARIS, 1940
Designed as a flamingo in a characteristic pose, the plumage set with calibré-cut emeralds, rubies and sapphires, the beak set with a cabochon citrine and sapphire, the eye set with a similarly cut sapphire, the head, neck, body and hinged legs pavé-set with circular-, brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, measuring approximately 95mm x 65mm x 22mm, signed to the clasp MONTURE Cartier and indistinctly numbered, French assay and maker's marks.
Estimate £1,000,000—1,500,000 GBP
THE EMERALD, RUBY AND DIAMOND 20TH ANNIVERSARY BROOCH, MOUNTED BY CARTIER, PARIS, 1957
Of heart-shaped design, applied to the centre with a monogram of the initials W and E set with calibré-cut emeralds, above the Roman numeral XX set with calibré-cut rubies, surmounted by a Royal Duke's coronet similarly set, to a background pavé-set with brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, measuring approximately 34mm x 38mm x 10mm, Cartier maker's mark and numbered, French assay marks
Estimate £100,000—150,000 GBP
THE GOLD AND DIAMOND NÉCESSAIRE DU SOIR, CARTIER, PARIS, December 1947
In the form of an egg with twisted ropework borders, the front engraved with the armorial bearings of His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor, the reverse with a monogram of the initials WW for Wallis Windsor below a Royal Ducal coronet, the thumbpiece collet-set with a rose diamond, suspended from a pendant ring accented with single-cut diamonds, opening to reveal a single lidded compartment with a mirror and feather powder puff, measurements approximately: overall length 125mm, case length 85mm, width 61mm, depth 55mm, signed Cartier Paris, French assay marks and maker's marks.
Estimate £70,000—90,000 GBP
THE GOLD AND DIAMOND NÉCESSAIRE DU SOIR, CARTIER, PARIS, 1947
The cylindrical case, of reeded design, applied with butterfly and flower head motifs the outlines collet-set with single-cut diamonds, the interior inscribed and dated: Wallis from Edward 1947, the single-cut diamond set thumb piece, opening to reveal a mirrored interior with a lidded powder compartment containing a feather powder puff and another compartment, measurements approximately: length 150mm, width 55mm, depth 45mm, signed Cartier, FRANCE, French assay and maker's marks.
Estimate £50,000—70,000 GBP
This is the most personal piece from the collection
THE GEM-SET AND DIAMOND CROSS BRACELET, CARTIER, 1934-1944
The chain bracelet spectacle-set with circular- and brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending nine gem-set Latin crosses, to a navette-shaped clasp, length approximately 190mm, signed Cartier, French assay and maker's marks. Comprising -
• A cross set with calibré-cut sapphires, emeralds, one similarly cut ruby and a baguette diamond, inscribed and dated: Our marriage Cross Wallis 3.VI.37 David, slightly imperfect.
• A cross set with calibré-cut aquamarines, inscribed and dated: God save the King for Wallis. 16.VII.36.
• A cross set with calibré-cut amethyst, inscribed and dated: Appendectomy Cross Wallis 31-VIII-44 David.
• A cross set with calibré-cut emeralds, inscribed and dated: X Ray Cross Wallis – David 10.7.36.
• A cross set with baguette diamonds, inscribed and dated: The Kings (sic) Cross God bless WE 1-3-36.
• A cross set with calibré-cut rubies, inscribed and dated : Wallis – David St Wolfgang 22-9-3.
• A cross set with calibré-cut yellow sapphires, inscribed and dated : "Get Well" Cross Wallis Sept. 1944 David.
• A cross set with calibré-cut sapphires, inscribed and dated : Wallis – David 23-6-35.
• A cross in platinum, inscribed and dated: WE are too (sic) 25-XI-34
Estimate £350,000—450,000 GBP
This is one of my favourite pictures of the Duke and Duchess
This film really gives some fabulous detail about each piece and some lovely details about the couple's four decade romance
The auction is tonight at 7pm