Jewels gifted to Wallis Simpson by Edward VIII sell for £42,000

Diamond ring and bracelet gifted to Wallis Simpson by her husband Edward VIII sell for £42,000 at auction – while handwritten letter from Queen Elizabeth II to Lord Plunkett goes for £1,100

  • The ring and bracelet were sold to well-known socialite Esther McCreery
  • She had met the royal couple as a liaison for the US Embassy in the Bahamas 

A ring and bracelet previously owned by the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson have sold for £42,000 at auction in Belfast.

The sale of the emerald and diamond ring and bracelet, that took place at Bloomfield Auctions in Belfast, also saw the sale of a Harland and Wolff minute book chronicling the years 1918-1927 for £2,600.

Mrs Simpson received the items of jewellery as a gift from her husband, the Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated as king.

The jewellery was later sold to Esther McCreery, a well-known socialite, who had met the royal couple through her role as a liaison for the American Embassy in the Bahamas.

Karl Bennett, managing director of Bloomfield Auctions, said he was satisfied with the price the set went for, exceeding its expected price of £25,000-£35,000.

‘I am delighted with what the emerald and diamond bracelet and ring has fetched at auction. The pair is one of the most stunning items of jewellery I have ever had on sale at the auction house,’ he said.

The emerald bracelet and ring once owned by Wallis Simpson which had been gifted to her by former king Edward VIII went under the hammer in Belfast for £42,000

Also in the auction was a letter from Princess Elizabeth – before she became Queen, to Lord Plunkett after he got engaged 

The Harland and Wolff minute book that was sold for £2,600 contains various historical references.

Mr Bennett said: ‘This book is a unique piece of history, believed to contain records of the first minutes taken immediately after the First World War, chronicling the years 1918-1927.

‘It’s such a rich historical document to behold, containing references to the Armistice in 1918, the Titanic memorial, the purchase and use of Ormiston and the death and demise of Viscount Pirrie, Chairman of Harland & Wolff.’

Also featured in the sale was an original handwritten letter by the late Queen Elizabeth II, addressed to Lord Plunkett on the occasion of his engagement, which sold for £1,100.

Wallis Simpson, pictured next to her husband the Duke of Windsor, received the jewels as a gift. They were later sold to socialite Esther McCreery

Mr Bennett said the expectation in the run-up to Charles’s coronation had generated significant interest in the items.

‘I knew there would be a great amount of interest from around the globe for these royal items, which is no surprise given King Charles III’s upcoming coronation,’ he said.

‘I was also particularly pleased with the sale of the seven-piece silver tea service, used to entertain the young Duke of Edinburgh at a polo match in the United States, which made £8,000 at auction.’

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