Wallis Simpson's $12.5m jewellery is 'the most expensive ever auctioned'

Twenty jewellery pieces charting the love affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII - who later abdicated the throne for the sake of their relationship - have been auctioned at Sotheby's.


Edward and Wallis's controversial
affair held the fascination of wealthy
buyers at Sotheby's - including the
Queen of Pop Madonna

In the end, Wallis's jewels brought £8m ($12,439,900), ahead of Sotheby's £3m estimate. In doing so, it is now the most expensive single-owner collection ever sold at auction. The seller was millionaire Wafiq Said, who has owned the collection since 1987.

Throughout the Prince of Wales's courtship of Wallis Warfield Simpson, during his brief period on the throne and during their married life, the couple commissioned exquisite jewels from the great European jewellery houses.

Among them were the 20 pieces sold at Sotheby's, each made by Cartier. The star lot emerged as an onyx and diamond panther bracelet once worn on the Duchess of Windsor's wrist. It was sold for £4.5m, and is now the most expensive bracelet ever sold.

Edward gave Ms Simpson the panther bracelet while they were living in exile in 1952; one of just many jewels in the collection with a story attached. The Queen of Pop Madonna was reportedly among the parties interested in bidding on the piece.


'The most expensive bracelet in the world', sold for £4.5m ($6,997,460)

Overall, Sotheby's sale proved that, of all the areas of collectibles, Royal memorabilia are among those most likely to attract exciting wealthy buyers.

With events like this sale, and the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on the horizon, the future could be very bright for new and experienced investors in Royal collectibles.

 

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