Guernsey’s Auction House in New York is putting a number of what it calls “iconic” items” on the block Friday, including a necklace worn by Princess Diana to one of her last major public appearances — the gala performance of “Swan Lake” at the Royal Albert Hall in London in June 1997, just weeks before her tragic death.
It’s estimated the necklace and matching earrings that are also being sold will fetch between $1.5 million and $2.5 million.
Diana didn’t wear the earrings, because they weren’t ready at the time.
The necklace has 164 diamonds, totaling 42.35 carats. Fourteen of the diamonds are marquise.
5 matching cultured pearls 12mm
11 marquise diamonds that total in 7.71 carat
3 marquise diamonds that total in 0.88 carat (these make up the clasp in the back)
The necklace is described as “a brilliant cut diamond and marquise diamond scroll motif center with a South Sea cultured pearl five stone and marquise diamond fringe drop, to a brilliant cut diamond two row collet back chain tapering to a single row; mounted in platinum, claw set, with an integral box clasp.”
The necklace was made specifically for Diana by the royals’ crown jeweler, David Thomas, and the director of a firm called Garrard. They wanted to capture Princess Diana’s taste and incorporate South Sea pearls, which she loved.
Catherine Walker, 65, Creator of Dresses for Princess Diana, Dies
Catherine Walker in 2004.
A dress worn by Princess Diana that was designed by Ms. Walker.
Ms. Walker had been suffering from cancer, her family said.
She was best known for creating some of Princess Diana’s most famous outfits. The princess was buried in a black dress created by Ms. Walker.
Ms. Walker eschewed fashion traditions, never showing her clothes in catwalk shows and usually shunning the limelight, but she was named couture designer of the year at the 1990 British Fashion Awards.
Catherine Marguerite Marie-Therese Baheux was born in the Pas-de-Calais region of France on June 27, 1945. She studied philosophy at the universities of Lille and Aix-en Province, before moving to London, where she married John Walker, a lawyer.
After her husband died in an accident in 1975, Ms. Walker was left to raise their two daughters alone, enrolling in a fashion course and eventually building a successful business.
She first sold garments in 1976, offering her designs from a basket as she walked up and down the King’s Road shopping district in London’s Chelsea neighborhood.
In recent years, as her health declined, she trained a design team to continue her brand, Catherine Walker & Co.
A memoir titled “Catherine Walker” was published in 1998. The subtitle was “An autobiography by the private couturier to Diana, princess of Wales.”
She is survived by her second husband, Said Ismael, and her two daughters, Naomi and Marianne, from her first marriage. New York Times.