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  • Press release
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  • Geneva
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  • For immediate release
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  • 27 September 2021

The Duchess of Windsor's First Wedding Anniversary Present to be offered on 9 November 2021

Geneva – Alongside the diamond bracelets of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, Christie’s Geneva will be offering the first anniversary gift the Duchess of Windsor received from her husband, the Duke of Windsor, on 3 June 1938. The order must have been placed with Cartier Paris earlier that year and delivered to the Duke ahead of the couple leaving town to spend the summer in the south of France. To mark love, passion, good fortune, courage and prosperity, the Duke had chosen rubies to take the centre stage of this unique jewel.

Many of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels were engraved with personal messages allowing us a rare glimpse into the couple’s intimacy. The bangle was given by the Duke of Windsor to his wife on their first wedding anniversary in 1938, and is inscribed “For our first anniversary of June third”. At the time the couple were holidaying on the French Riviera in Antibes at the Villa La Croë. In December 1936, Edward VIII famously abdicated the British throne to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield Simpson. They were married in France at the Château de Candé in June 1937. For years the Windsor’s were a fixture of international society and will always be remembered for their chic lifestyle and beautiful jewellery.

This bangle is a sleek and sophisticated reinterpretation of the Art Deco style. Very avant-garde, it is one of Cartier’s most unusual designs which never cease to surprise by their simplicity (estimate CHF1,000,000-2,000,000). In fact, Cartier had previously set the ruby and diamond clusters on a necklace for its stock in 1937. A year later they were reworked into the bangle we see today.  It reappears at public auction for the first time since the landmark auction of 1987 Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, a sale which gained mythic status thanks to the record prices, media attention and the renewed interest it sparked towards provenanced and signed jewellery, that has persisted ever since.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business with a physical presence in 46 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. Renowned and trusted for our expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke Private Sales, Christie’s unparalleled network of specialists offers our clients a full portfolio of global services, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $500 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction, launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art and manages an investment fund to support innovative startups in the art market. Christie’s is also committed to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide. To learn more, browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. 

* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.   *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.