A pair of diamond jewels owned by Her Grace The Duchess of Windsor is set to steal the show when they go on sale at auction later this month.
Expected to fetch between £5,000 and £10,000 on the 17th September, the two jewelled motifs are being auctioned at Bonhams’s new Bond Street headquarters in London. The peridot and diamond frog and a diamond brooch in the style of the Prince of Wales feathers were purchased by the current owner in April 1987 at Sotheby’s in Geneva when they formed part of lot 137 of the iconic sale of “The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor.” The lot is accompanied by invoices from that sale and a photocopy of the original catalogue entry.
The jewels were originally gifts to Mrs Wallis Simpson, as she was then known, from the former King Edward VIII, who was made Duke of Windsor after his abdication. The Duke gave several frogs as charms and keepsakes and, during their enforced separation after the abdication and before their marriage, he wrote to her from Schloss Enzesfeld. The publication ‘Wallis and Edward, Letters 1931-1937: the Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’ details one of the letters that was sent on the 26th January 1937:
“I enclose an eanum frog for the thirty-first to live in your bag with the fat Vienna frog.. Please show the new eanum frog to HER as HE has seen it! How HE longs for house and make soon HE says too. God bless WE my beloved Wallis. Remember what the eanum frog says and that I love you more and more…”
The Duke often used “WE”, the amalgam of their initials, in his private correspondence to Mrs Simpson. “Eanum” was another invented word, part of their sentimental lovers’ language, meaning “little.”
Also part of the Fine Jewellery sale, a diamond riviére necklace, made of 40 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 76 cts. in total, is the most valuable item and is estimated at £250,000–£400,000. The second most valuable is a single-strand natural saltwater pearl necklace dating from about 1910. The necklace, which has 75 pearls, is estimated at £150,000–£200,000.
Image Credits: Bonhams