Duchess of Windsor bracelet to sell at Sotheby's for $295,000

Sotheby's will offer a selection of jewellery from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in its Fine Jewels auction on December 12 in London, led by a Cartier bracelet.

Cartier sapphire bracelet
Cartier was the preferred jeweller of the duchess, who had many items in her collection

The lavish jewellery collection of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986) was famous for its size and quality, and was sold by Sotheby's in a landmark 1987 auction following her death. The sapphire bracelet originates from that sale, and is valued at £130,000-180,000 ($212,875-294,750).

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor's story is well known around the world, with King Edward VIII abdicating his throne in order to marry the American divorcee, in the process becoming a mere duke.

The pair went on to live a lavish life, travelling across Europe and the US, and leaving a trail of memorabilia behind them, which is extremely sought after by collectors today.

Also starring from the duchess' collection is a coral, emerald and diamond choke, made by Cartier in 1949, which is expected to see up to £60,000 ($98,250).

In 2010 a Cartier-designed onyx and diamond panther bracelet that the duke gave to the duchess sold for $7.2m to set the auction records for both a bracelet and a Cartier item.

Cartier Egyptian brooch
Louis Cartier was a collector of Egyptian artefacts, and capitalised on the public fascination with Egypt following the discovery of Tutankhamun

The sale is preceded by Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on December 11, which will see a spectacular line of jewels designed by Cartier, inspired by the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb. The jewels are decorated with ancient Egyptian motifs.

Louis Cartier was an avid collector of Egyptian artefacts, giving rise to the collection. A faience and jewelled brooch from the line is valued at $300,000-500,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic signed letter from Wallis Simpson for sale, which was sent to her prominent friend Kitty Rothschild.

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