(Royal) Rubies: Edward VII’s Anniversary Gift to Wallis Simpson

bracelet and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor dancing at a New Year
Pics show the bracelet and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor dancing at a New Year's Eve Ball in 1949, in New York

A ruby and diamond bracelet presented by Britain’s King Edward VII to the American socialite Wallis Simpson is to be auctioned by Christie’s Geneva. The estimate is $1.08m to $2.015m.

It was a first anniversary gift after he abdicated in 1936 (becoming the Duke of Windsor) and married twice-divorced Simpson (who became the Duchess of Windsor) in a move that rocked the monarchy.

The avant-garde Art Deco bracelet was a gift to mark the first anniversary of their wedding and was given to the Duchess in June 1938, as the couple holidayed on the French Riviera.

The rubies and diamonds had been set previously on a necklace by Cartier Paris for its stock in 1937. A year later they were re-worked into the bangle for the Duchess, who died aged 89 in 1986.

The piece will be auctioned at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Geneva, on 9 November following previews in New York, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

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