A bespoke piece of jewellery once owned by the late Princess Margaret has again proved that diamonds (and pearls) are a girl’s best friend.
The stunning Cartier bracelet – a double row of cultured pearls with a single row of circular-cut diamonds and a diamond geometric clasp – sold in a signature red leather case at auction for a cool £320 000 (R6,4 million).
Add to that a few post-sale fees and it brought the total of the charming piece that was previously part of the British royal’s collection to a cool £396 800 (R7,9m).
Hosted by UK auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, the event saw the art deco bracelet, dating back to 1925 and characterised by linear and geometric shapes, sell for almost 10 times the original estimated amount.
“It not only reflects the strength of the current auction market but also the overriding importance of provenance,” said Frances Noble, head of the company’s jewellery department.
A portrait of Margaret in the jewels was taken at Buckingham Palace by Cecil Beaton to mark the princess’ 19th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth’s sister, known for her chic style, wore a white tulle gown with sequined butterflies and completed her look with pearls around her neck and arm. It’s believed she might’ve been gifted the dazzling jewellery, engraved with an M, by her grandmother Queen Mary.
Pearls have always been prized possessions – the silky round bulbs were often gifted to women in ancient times as they were believed to promote fertility.
In the book The Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Queen Elizabeth by Leslie Field, it’s noted that Margaret received a gift of a matching pearl necklace and bracelet celebrating her entrance into adulthood.
“Princess Margaret was photographed wearing this bracelet on numerous occasions, which certainly added to the appeal of the piece, attracting international interest and extremely competitive bidding – an exceptional result for the vendor,” Noble said of the piece, which was first sold in 2006 by auction house Christie’s.
In her lifetime Margaret, who died in 2002 aged 71, acquired a number of prized possessions. Her collection of around 800 pieces, including the Poltimore Tiara she wore at her 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones, priceless necklaces and brooches have previously gone on show for the public, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reports.
Margaret’s memory remains alive not only through her son, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (59), daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto (57), and four grandchildren but also through the beautiful objects she left behind.
More timeless pieces from Margaret’s collection
Ruby and diamond Girandole earrings
Pearl choker with diamond clasp
Diamond and pearl riviere
Persian Turquoise Parure
This exquisite collection of tiara, necklace, brooch, and earrings was given by Queen Mary to the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth as a wedding gift. In 1951 she passed it on the Turquoise Parure to her younger daughter, Princess Margaret as a 21st birthday gift.
SOURCES: TATLER.COM; HELLOMAGAZINE.COM; VOGUE.COM; THEGUARDIAN.COM; PEOPLE.COM; ROYALWATCHERBLOG.COM