The Diamond and Ruby Necklace of Wallis Simpson (who became The Duchess of Windsor). This necklace is a true masterpiece of the art of jewelery-making. It was designed by Rene-Sim Lacaze and executed by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1938. The clasp is engraved with a loving inscription from the Duke: “My Wallis from her David, 19.VI.1936”. The platinum-set necklace was a special order commissioned by the Duke of Windsor (former King of England) as a 40th birthday present for the Duchess.
Duchess of Windsor's Ruby Set ;The union of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor lasted for 35 years until the Duke’s death in 1972. During the period, the former King lavished his wife with many exquisite gifts of jewellery which the Duchess wore to great effect. Pieces in this set were given at various times but each has a special meaning.
La Peregrina Pearl. "Its history spans almost 500 years, and it has passed from the an enslaved African slave who found it at Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama, to European kings and queens. Most recently, the pearl belonged to Elizabeth Taylor." In Richard Burton gave her the pearl in 1969 for her 37th birthday. Its current home is as pendant to in a Cartier designed necklace made out of pearls, rubies and diamonds.
Detail: Vintage Cartier sapphire bracelet previously owned by Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Set in gold and featuring an alternating pattern of dark and light blue sapphires. Circa 1945. Via Diamonds in the Library.
Amethyst and diamond demi-parure, mid-19th century. Comprising: a necklace designed as a graduated series of oval amethysts each set within a frame of cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds, suspending a detachable amethyst and diamond pendant, and a pair of earrings similarly set, post fittings, originally part of the necklace, later set as earrings.:
This amazing diamond zipper necklace like one commissioned by Wallis Simpson before she was the Duchess of Windsor will soon be on view at the Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef Arpels exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Opens February 18th.