A bracelet owned by Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, whose affair with Edward VIII led to his abdication, has sold for a world record-breaking £4.5m ($7m) at auction.
The Duchess was a leader of fashion and the epitome of elegance and sophistication for her generation and beyond.
David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery
The diamond, onyx, emerald panther bracelet, was sold by Sotheby’s. The bracelet was fought over by four bidders resulting in the iconic piece of jewellery, which was crafted in Paris in 1952, selling for more than double its pre-sale estimate. The multi-million pound final bid has made the bracelet the most expensive bracelet ever sold at auction, as well as setting a new record for the most expensive Cartier piece sold at auction.
It was one of 20 pieces owned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to go under the hammer in the sale, which raised a total of £7,975,550 ($12,417,369m).
A ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamond Cartier flamingo clip was another big seller reaching £1,721,250 ($2,679,712). All prices include the buyer’s premium. Prior to the sale the jewels had gone on tour to the Middle East, Russia and the US.