Posted By Japster
Posted Jun 29, 2009
i think that is Charlotte in the last photo. Love that necklace on her!
I'd love to share some photos and information of Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor's jewels. Edward gave her some amazing pieces of jewelry.
The first two photos are from an article from the Van Cleef & Arpels website. The photos were accompanied by the following text:
"This Jarretière bracelet, made up of facetted sapphires and baguette and round diamonds, is one of the most beautiful pieces given to the Duchess by the Duke. Ordered by the Duke during their few months apart in the winter of 1936, it was given to the Duchess as a gift to commemorate their French civil marriage, celebrated on May 18, 1937. It is engraved with the words "For our contract 18.V.37".
This Eventail clip was created in 1935 and was worn by the Duchess of Windsor for her wedding to Edward VIII on June 3rd 1937, at the Château Candé in France."
I have also posted some photos where she is wearing the bracelet, including the wedding, but unfortunately they are not very high quality. I wish I could find some pictures of her where the bracelet is better visible!
That Edward sure knew how to pick out a gift! I forget where I read it, but someone once described this bracelet as "the wedding gift to end all wedding gifts." haha!
I, too, adore that layered necklace (O/T, sorry about that shoe pic; can't delete it). Here are a few more of Charlotte:
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While I'm on the subject of their wedding, here is the other bracelet Wallis wore on their wedding day. She was first spotted wearing this bracelet on a cruise in 1936 and it triggered much speculation about her relationship with the King; at that point their love affair had not been widely known.
The Cartier diamond bracelet features nine crosses, each cross representing a special occasion in the Duke and Duchess lives from 1934 to 1944. Each cross is engraved with an inscription. I think it is touching that the Duke had many of his gifts for her engraved.
He (David) not only had them engraved, but often in his own "handwriting" (I assume a copy/template was made by the engraver).
Emerald and diamond necklace sold to the Prince of Wales in 1935 for Mrs Simpson. Contrary to legend, not a single royal emerald was used for the piece. All of the stones were in fact provided by Van Cleef & Arpels. Last photo is a matching bracelet.
grace kelly is divine!
^the sapphire/diamond bracelet is simply amazing!!! I love the size of it on her. it's wonderful seeing the bracelet on her too...thanks for researching that.
^the bracelet she wore to the ball is incredible!
^I'm most familiar with this piece from their collection. I love it.
^that's my favorite part!
^it's stunning! those giant baguette diamonds are something else...of course the emeralds are fabulous too.
i love that he did that - i think it's so special that such impressive stunners have little hidden personal messages.
yes, i agree it is stunning! i think this might be my favorite necklace from her collection. I am going to post some of her other necklaces, but this emerald/diamond one is definitely my personal favorite, even though the others are more obviously dazzling (and probably a lot more expensive).
More engraved goodies! Here is some information about this ruby set from the Van Cleef & Arpels website:
This necklace is a true masterpiece of jewelry. Designed by Rene Sim Lacaze, it was a special order commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for the Duchesss 40th birthday. Rivers of rubies and diamonds intertwine with each other culminating in an off-center cascade of rubies. The clasp is engraved with the inscription: "My Wallis from her David, 19.VI.1936".
This bracelet, probably designed by René Sim Lacaze, was given to Wallis Simpson by Edward VIII a few months before his abdication. The clasp is engraved with the inscription "Hold Tight 27.III.36". It was an expression that the couple often used between themselves to comfort each other in difficult times.
On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII made his abdication speech. In light of the situation, Edward VIII had to spend that Christmas away from Wallis Simpson, so he sent her this clip, representing two holly leaves, made of Mystery Set rubies and diamonds. This creation is an early example of the Mystery Setting technique, for which Van Cleef & Arpels is now famous.
Some more ruby pieces, about which I unfortunately have no information.
I found the ruby earrings from an old auction page but I regret not saving the information that accompanied the photo. I do remember reading that the earrings belonged to the Duchess, and later in her life she gave them as a gift to one of her friends. I don't know if everything is to be believed, but I have read about quite a few instances of the Duke and Duchess being very generous with the people close to them.
Here is another instance-
This is a beautiful brooch made by Cartier in the 1960's set as a carnation flower with delicate ivory petals and set with sapphires and diamonds. However, the most interesting feature about it is the story of its provenance! It was a gift from the Duke of Windsor to his nurse. Very rarely we get such a detailed and moving explanation like this one in the Sotheby's Geneva catalogue.
Oonagh Toffolo was raised on the West Coast of Ireland in the 1930s. Her father, a farmer, was an enlightened man of faith who taught her the importance of being lavish with love and hospitality. 'Love freely given connects with the life force in another.' It was perhaps not surprising therefore that, aged sixteen, she was called to enter an order of nuns who looked after the elderly poor. They trained her as a nurse and sent her to various parts of the world, including Calcutta, where she knew Mother Teresa. It was while in India she realised that young mothers and their children should be her first concern and, gaining special Papal dispensation to leave the convent, she moved to London and retrained as a midwife in 1965.
After a period of new and exciting experiences and, by this time, working as a nurse in Paris, she was specially chosen to care for the Duke of Windsor during his final illness. She nursed him partly in hospital after an operation and then at the Windsor's home in the Bois de Boulogne. On her first morning, she joined the Duke and Duchess in their drawing room. The Duke was wearing a carnation in his button hole and the Duchess explained it was his favourite flower. Presenting Oonagh with this brooch, a miniature carnation of ivory, sapphires and diamonds, the Duchess explained the Duke had had it designed especially for her as a token of his love. 'Now we want you to have it as a token of our gratitude for coming home with us to care for him,' she said. Oonagh looked after the Duke until he died five weeks later but, for ever after, has treasured the brooch as a gift imbued with love and hospitality, from two people who loved each other very much.
More Grace (and Diana):
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I just never get tired of looking at her...
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I can appreciate the artistry & mechanics in the ribbon necklace & the invisibly set rubies & diamonds in the leaf brooch, but the ruby bracelet has my attention. I ADORE it!!! it's my favorite of the duchess' collection that I've seen so far. that bracelet is something that I would wear all the time.
^the ivory/sapphire brooch is so beautiful! what a touching story to accompany it as well.
^wow...the first diamond necklace of princess grace's is fantastic. she was such a beauty.
^I know exactly how you feel. the emerald necklace she's wearing is gorgeous, & I love to see the persian turquoise (one of my favorite stones that I've rarely seen on royalty).