Wallis Simpson's costume jewellery sold

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The Independent Online

Costume jewellery created for Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated the throne, raised several thousand pounds today when it went under the hammer.

The British monarchy was rocked to the core by the constitutional crisis when the King turned his back on the crown, choosing love for the American divorcee over his royal duty in December 1936.

The couple married the following year and spent most of the rest of their lives in exile in France as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Costume jewellery is jewellery manufactured as ornamentation to complement a particular fashionable costume or outfit and the Duchess, asked once what she thought of it, said: "I hate to admit it but I am absolutely fascinated by fake jewellery at the moment; I think it is so good."

Now, 25 years after her death, and following last year's multimillion-pound sale of her fine jewels at Sotheby's, five pieces of costume jewellery or body sculpture were sold by Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions.

The pieces were sold to international buyers bidding over the internet and telephone.

A metal bead feather necklace, circa 1970, fetched £2,684.

Three cork, wood and gilt metal beaded necklaces by American designer Alexis Kirk, designed for the Duchess of Windsor circa 1965, went for £2,196.

A gilt metal Egyptian-style bib necklace and matching ear clips also by Kirk reached £1,830.

A gilt metal and simulated lapis lazuli necklace and ring sold for £2,074 and an Egyptian-style body sculpture necklace sold for £2,440.

Kirk designed bold, elegant "statement" jewellery for the international elite of the 1960s and 70s and his studio at 55 Park Avenue became the place to shop.

Word spread fast and soon the Duke and Duchess became clients.

Source: PA