“This is a bold piece of jewellery by its size, colour and style which cannot fail to make a vibrant statement, whether it be of faith or fashion – or indeed both.
We are delighted that this piece has found a new lease of life within the hands of another globally famous name.”
Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery, Sotheby’s London.
Moments ago, the Attallah Cross, a unique piece of jewellery, said to have been lovingly favoured by Princess Diana, sold for £163,800 / $197,453 to Kim Kardashian.
The amethyst cross was competed for by four bidders, in the last five minutes of Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale, ultimately landing in the hands of a representative for Ms. Kardashian at more than double its pre-auction estimate.
MORE ON THE ATTALLAH CROSS:
Part of Sotheby’s London Royal and Noble sale, which presents an eclectic collection of outstanding objects and sumptuous heirlooms with aristocratic provenance – from furniture, ceramics, decorative items and more – the cross used to be owned by the former group chief executive of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah CBE.
The Attallah cross, of fleurée style – made distinct by flowery design details, is a pendant created in 1920s by court jewellers Garrard, which Princess Diana had a particular fondness for and most famously wore in October 1987, paired with a Catherine Walker dress, to a charity gala in support of Birthright, a charity working towards the protection of human rights during pregnancy and childbirth.
The cross was bought by Naim Attallah CBE, from Garrard in the 1980s and through his friendship with Princess Diana, he was able to loan it to her several times over a number of years to wear at events. It is understood that the cross was only ever worn by the Princess, and following her death, it was never seen in public again until now.
The cross-shaped pendant – thought to be a one-off private commission by Garrard for one of their regular clients – is a bold and colourful piece set with square-cut amethysts and accented by circular-cut diamonds. The cross has a total diamond weight of approximately 5.25 carats and measures approximately 136 x 95mm.
Princess Diana’s confidence grew during the 1980s as she became known for increasingly bold fashion choices, moving away from the more romantic and subdued style she had hitherto favoured. The fact that she is known to have worn what is now known as the Attallah cross on several times – mostly to private occasions, substantiates this evolution.
Princess Diana had a long-standing relationship with Garrard, having selected her engagement ring from them in 1981. Over the years she would collaborate with Garrard and wear pieces from the illustrious jewellery house on many occasions, including after her divorce. In her last public appearance, she wore what has come to be known as the Swan Lake necklace, a diamond and South Sea pearl necklace which they made in collaboration with her.