Sotheby's is to auction the collections of Estee and Evelyn Lauder in its December 5 Magnificent Jewels auction in New York, which will see a diamond necklace owned by Wallis Simpson sell as top lot.
Estee Lauder was the co-founder of Estee Lauder Companies, the internationally renowned cosmetics firm. Evelyn Lauder, daughter of Estee, was a philanthropist and socialite who established The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1991 and created the popular Pink Ribbon symbol. All proceeds from the sale of their collections will benefit the charity.
While much of Wallis Simpson's renowned jewellery collection was sold through Sotheby's in 1987, one particular diamond that she bought from jeweller Harry Winston in 1951 was missing. The 47.12 carat fancy intense yellow diamond, which was first worn as a ring by the duchess, was sold to Evelyn Lauder in 1978.
In that same year Lauder had the heart-shaped diamond incorporated into a pendant by Van Cleef & Arpels. It is to be sold at the auction on a matching diamond encrusted necklace and is expected to realise $1.5m-2m.
Wallis Simpson's jewellery was among the world's finest and any item from her personal collection will undoubtedly perform well at auction. A diamond and onyx Cartier bracelet, which was given to Simpson by the man who abdicated the throne for her, Edward VIII, sold for $4.5m in 2010 to become the most valuable bracelet and Cartier item ever sold at auction.
Paul Fraser Collectible is currently offering collectors the chance to be part of Simpson's extraordinary story, with an autographed letter that she sent to her close friend, Baroness Rothschild.