One of the princess’s favorite jewels was sold at Sotheby’s in London
The Attallah Cross, one of Lady Diana’s most beloved jewels, was sold this evening for 163,800 pounds ($197,453; 187,290 euros) to US actress, model and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian. The amethyst cross was contested by four bidders in the last five minutes of Sotheby’s ‘Royal and Noble’ auction in London tonight and ultimately ended up in the hands of a representative of Kardashian, ex-wife of rapper Kanye West. at more than double the estimated price.
The glittering jewel featured in one of Princess Diana’s most dazzling looks, the Atallah Cross has reappeared in public after 35 years of oblivion. However, the fabulous pendant in gold, silver, amethysts and diamonds never belonged to Charles of England’s ex-wife: in fact, it belonged to a well-known London jeweler, Naim Atallah, former managing director of Asprey & Garrard.
“This is a piece of jewelry that is bold in size, color and style, and one that is bound to make a vibrant statement, whether it be faith or fashion, or both. We are delighted that this piece has found a new life in the hands of another world-famous name”, commented Kristian Spofforth, head of the jewelery department of Sotheby’s London immediately after the auction.
“Princess Diana and my father were friends and I remember her often visiting him in the historic Garrard shop on Regent Street, where his office was, and on several occasions she would ask him to borrow the pendant – she loved it,” he said. Ramsay Atallah, the owner of the jewel that was sold.
The Attallah Cross, distinguished by floral details, is a pendant created in the 1920s by the court jewelers Garrard, for which Princess Diana had a particular predilection and which she also wore in a memorable way in October 1987, combined with a dress by Catherine Walker, on the occasion of a charity gala in support of Birthright, an association that deals with the protection of women’s human rights, of which the princess became patroness in 1984.
The cross was purchased by Naim Atallah from Garrard in the 1980s, and thanks to his friendship with Princess Diana, he was able to lend her the cross several times over the years to wear at events. The cross was reportedly worn only by the princess and, after her death, has not been seen in public until today.
The cross-shaped pendant — thought to be a private commission by Garrard for one of his regular clients — is a bold and colorful piece featuring square-cut amethysts and round-cut diamonds. The cross has a total diamond weight of approximately 5.25 carats and measures approximately 136mm x 95mm.
Princess Diana had a long-standing relationship with Garrard, having chosen her engagement ring in 1981. She has collaborated with Garrard over the years and has worn pieces from the illustrious jewelery house on many occasions, even after their divorce. In her last public appearance, she wore what has come to be known as the ‘Swan Lake’ necklace, a necklace of diamonds and South Sea pearls made in collaboration with her.
(by Paolo Martini)