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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. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.