Wallis Simpson: A Love Affair With Jewelry

Know for her reckless love affair and abandon for romance, Wallis Simpson was one quoted saying "You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance."  She said this about her husband, the Duke of windsor, who abdicated the throne to marry the divorcee.  But she could have also said this about the jewels that she loved so much.

It was this torrid love affair with the Duke that brought Wallis most of the jewelry in her collection.  During their  romance and royal life, he showered Wallis with jewels constantly.  Famous for being the life of the party, the Duke and Duchess were always present in society parties all over America and Europe. Wallis was especially known for her exquisite jewelry collection.  One of her most famous pieces was this Cartier panther bracelet, which she later lost on the beach.

Sold by Sotheby's in November 2010, the collection containes mostly Cartier pieces. David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewellery in Europe and the Middle East, said: 'The offering comprises not only beautifully preserved, incomparable examples of the genius of Cartier in collaboration with the Windsors, but also pieces whose inscriptions tell the story of perhaps the greatest love story of the 20th century, the romance that led Edward VIII to abdicate the throne of Great Britain.'

The Wallis Simpson jewelry collection was not only beautiful but also historical.  Most of the pieces are  inscribed with messages of love and support from the Duke, so each piece chronicled his married life and brief period on the throne.  The pieces were auctioned in and this Cartier panther bracelet was sold to Madonna, who directed W.E.  of a film about Wallis Simpson.  It is the highest price ever paid for a single piece of jewelry

Here are some other beautiful pieces that were auctioned by Sotheby's

This beautiful diamond bracelet is also by Cartier.  It supports nice gem-set Latin crosses.  Each cross represents a special moment in her life, during the years between 1934 to 1944.  It was one of her favorite pieces and was sold  for 601,250 pounds.

Another renown piece is this gorgeous ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond clip by Cartier.  It was the second most expensive piece in this auction, fetching almost one million pounds.  Below are more picture of the fantastic jewelry sold to to some very lucky bidders.

Gorgeous heart-shaped brooch, with
the initials W and E (for Wallis and Edward) in emeralds.
Commissioned in 1957 to celebrate their 20th wedding
anniversary.  Also handmade by Cartier, Paris.

Beautiful cigarette case in solid gold and colored gems.
This was a Christmas gift to Wallis, and is
 inscribed with various significant locations on a map of

Although her style cannot be duplicated, Wallis Simpson has inspired many of my pieces.  Her originality and Cartier's attention to detail in design are the mark of her signature pieces, two qualities that I always take into consideration when I design pieces for my collection.  Here are two beautiful pieces I designed with Wallis in mind.

Wallis loved bracelets, and this gorgeous one is
definitely fit for Royalty.  Beautifully handmade white and
black diamond bracelet, as always 18kt gold.

Like Wallis and Edward, these earrings here are the perfect
match to the bracelet above.
Also in black and white diamonds, the flower themed
earrings are spectacular. 

It is not a coincidence that strong women wear strong jewelry.  For Wallis it was her only way to shine as a Royal, amidst all the scandal that surrounded her love affair with Edward.  A true pioneer, this divorcee helped popularize the Parisian house of Cartier even more, and inspire jewelry designers (myself included) worldwide. 

Dani K

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