The Duchess of Windsor’s First Anniversary Gift Is Going to Auction
The Cartier bangle given by Edward VIII is estimated to sell for as much as $1.6 million at Christie’s Geneva next month.
At the Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on Nov. 9, the auction house will offer the first anniversary gift the Duke of Windsor gave to his wife, the Duchess of Windsor, on June 3, 1938.
He chose a special ruby bracelet from Cartier for the occasion and must have placed the order with the house earlier that year to have it delivered ahead of the couple’s trip out of town to spend the summer in the south of France, Christie’s said.
The bangle features two cushion-shaped rubies Burmese rubies—which show no signs of heat treatment—weighing a total of 36.15 carats and approximately 24-25 carats of baguette and circular-cut diamonds set in platinum.
It features an inscription of a personal message, as many of her jewels did, that says: “For our first anniversary of June third.”
Edward VIII famously abdicated the British throne in December 1936 after just one year of ruling, becoming the first English monarch to voluntarily do so, according to History.com.
He chose to do after the British government, public, and Church of England decried his decision to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simson.
Once his brother, George VI, became king after he stepped down, he named Edward the Duke of Windsor.
The Duke and Simson were married in France at the Château de Candé in June 1937.
Now, the gift representing their first year of marriage is expected to sell for CHF 1 million to CHF 1.5 million (about $1.1 million to $1.6 million) at auction.
Christie’s called the bangle “one of Cartier’s most unusual designs” for its avant-garde style. The house had originally set the ruby and diamond clusters in a necklace before but reworked it into the current design the following year for the couple.
This is the first time the piece has appeared at auction since the popular 1987 Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor auction, which brought in more than $30 million, setting a record at the time and more than quadrupling the previous high sum paid at auction for a single collection of jewels.
Parties interested in the bangle will be able to see it in New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai before it heads to Christie’s Geneva for preview in the days leading up to the jewelry auction.
Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator chooses the pieces she’d most want to see in person.
When it comes to knowing the identity and quality of your pearls, count on GIA as your independent pearl experts.
“Today’s Wedding Jewelry Consumer” shares data about engagement ring market size, lab-grown and natural diamonds, and more.
Advanced technology levels the playing field, helping jewelers give customers what they want.
Several Couture brands have partnered with Platinum Guild International ahead of the jewelry trade show.
The jewelry company is moving into bridal just a month after branching out into the watch world.
The 2008 economic crisis, COVID-19, and sanctions on Russian goods have set the stage for an interesting decade for natural diamond supply.
The Generating Community Impact fundraiser on June 11 will feature Karine Bah Tahé of Blue Level Training.
Kaiser, whose illustrious career spanned decades, died suddenly on Friday.
He will step into the retailer’s newly created role of chief development officer.
GemIntro is meant to give a broad introduction to gems and gemology.
Three industry experts discuss “recycled” gold vs. mined, their challenges and benefits, and how jewelers can navigate the area.
Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati put on stellar performances.
From a slowdown in sales growth to rising costs, Fruchtman Marketing outlines its expectations for the second half of the year.
Once a part of Julius Klein Group, the diamond company combines its direct supply and cutting expertise with a keen eye to the future.
John A. Green of retailer Lux Bond & Green and Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé have joined the board of directors as of May 18.
The retailer also said demand for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches continues to exceed its supply.
The Connecticut jeweler reflected on five decades in the industry and what the future holds for the family business.
The chapter has organized a day trip to the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum in Ogdensburg on Saturday, May 21.
The stones come from a deposit close to Mahenge and have been on the market for several months.