The chairman of Sotheby's jewelry division in Europe and the
Middle East, David Bennett, said the collection owned by the
Duke and Duchess of Windsor shed light on "the greatest love
story of the 20th century."
Edward abdicated after 11 months on the throne in 1936 to marry
Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, for whom he
publicly declared his love. He was succeeded by his younger
brother, George VI, father to Queen Elizabeth.
Their relationship threatened to provoke a constitutional crisis
in Britain, where Edward was head of the Church of England,
which did not permit the remarriage of divorced people whose
spouses were still alive.
The 30-piece collection, which included a Cartier sapphire
bracelet, a gem-studded choker, cuff links, watches and a signed
silver cigarette case, sold for 620,125 pounds to buyers from
all over the world.
The highest estimate for the lot was around 500,000 pounds.
Sotheby's said Simpson, who died in 1986 at age 89, was "the
epitome of elegance and sophistication for her generation and beyond."
A larger set of jewels owned by Simpson was sold by Sotheby's in
1987 for around 31 million pounds, the most valuable
single-owner jewelry sale for roughly a quarter of a century.
(Reporting by Alexander
Winning; editing by Alison Williams)
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