Cartier panther bracelet breaks record at £4.5m

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Iconic jewellery part of the Duchess of Windsor sale at Sothebys.

An onyx and diamond Cartier panther bracelet once owned by the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson has sold at Sotheby’s for £4.5 million.

The bracelet was fought over by four bidders resulting in the iconic piece of jewellery, which was crafted in Paris in 1952, selling for more than double its pre-sale estimate. The multi-million pound final bid has made the bracelet the most expensive braceklet ever sold at auction, as well as setting a new record for the most expensive Cartier piece sold at auction.

The Cartier bracelet was part of a sale of 20 jewels and precious objects belonging to the Duchess of Winsor sold at Sotheby’s. The auction house said that the sale, which brought in a total of nearly £8 million, represents the most valuable single-owner collection ever sold.

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David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery in Europe and the Middle East, said: “It has been an immense pleasure to bring once again to sale these jewels worn by a woman who was a leader of fashion and the epitome of elegance and sophistication for her generation and beyond. The collection comprised not only masterpieces of 20th century jewellery by Cartier, but also pieces whose intimate 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. Wherever we have exhibited the jewels in recent months – whether it be Moscow, New York, Hong Kong or the Middle East – the response has been extraordinary; and the Windsor collection has been introduced to a new audience of buyers.”

Prior to the sale the jewels had gone on tour to the Middle East, Russia and the US.

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