13 August 2017

Jewels in Motion: The Windsor Amethyst and Turquoise Suite

The Duchess of Windsor wears her amethyst and turquoise jewels (screengrab)

Our celebration of royal jewels made by Cartier continues this month with one of the most colorful, modern sets that the firm made for the Duchess of Windsor: her amethyst and turquoise suite. Enjoy seeing this beautiful set of jewelry in motion!

One of Wallis's most recognizable Cartier pieces is this amethyst, turquoise, diamond, and gold bib necklace, made for her in 1947

A sketch of the necklace, which Cartier jewelers designed with Wallis's input

Wallis famously wore the necklace to a gala at Versailles in 1953

Wallis "really liked strong colors and very sculptural, bold jewelry. It wasn't subtle, but it also was not overpowering or tasteless in any way," explained Margaret Young-Sanchez, who curated "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century" at the Denver Art Museum in 2014

The Duchess's amethyst and turquoise collection also included other pieces, including this torsade bracelet, made by Cartier in 1954

In lot notes from a 2013 auction, Sotheby's described the piece as "designed as five rows of amethyst and two rows of turquoise beads, to a star-shaped clasp, set at the centre with an hexagonal amethyst within a turquoise and diamond border, accented with circular-cut diamonds"

The bracelet sold at auction in London in 2013 for $45,000 (USD)

Wallis's amethyst and turquoise suite was made more than half a century ago, but it still looks strikingly modern today