Jewellery and precious items owned by the late British King
Edward VIII and his American wife Wallis Simpson have sold
for more than 620,000 pounds ($NZ1.2 million) at auction,
significantly more than expected.
The chairman of Sotheby's jewellery 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, cufflinks, 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 aged 89, was "the
epitome of elegance and sophistication for her generation and
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 jewellery sale for roughly a quarter of a