Tuesday, 9 June 2015

History of Jewellery - Part XIII

There are few women who have collections that truly impress and of course one of them was the Duchess of Windsor. The pieces are valued not just for their outstanding beauty and exquisite craftsmanship but because of the stories attached to them. I no longer think of the relationship of Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson as terribly romantic, but instead as quite sad. 

We were told about the diamond and sapphire 'contract bracelet' engraved "For our contract" and dated 18 May 1937. 

Another ruby and diamond bracelet was engraved 'Hold Tight' on the clasp which, when you think of it, makes sense for a clasp on such a valuable piece. It referred however to their holding tight to one another through the storm caused by Edward's abdication. 

Our lecturer mentioned Henry Channon, a politician and I duly scribbled the name. Turns out this is 'Chips' Channon, American born British politician who married Honor Guinness and was an admirer of Mrs. Simpson. I could get quite excited about this man, if only because he is distantly related to the Mitfords... Anyhow he is quoted as having said that the jewels given to Mrs. Simpson were the talk of London. I expect every thing about Wallis and Edward was the talk of London. 

In the post war period of the 1940's an into the 1950's and '60's, jewellery design focused on nature and animals.  The flamingo brooch by Cartier is one of the most copied pieces in the world.

So, enough of That Woman (must read this book one day).

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