Princess Margaret’s Art Deco Bracelet Could Be Yours, For US$55K
London auction house Dix Noonan Webb is selling a stunning art deco bracelet owned by Princess Margaret. The jewel, strung with cultured pearls and mounted with white diamonds, is estimated between US$40,000 and US$55,000. Worn during a Cecil Beaton photoshoot marking the princess royal's 19th birthday on August 21, 1949, this sparkler is breathtaking and comes with a unique history.
Beaton wrote in his diary: “She [Princess Margaret] was at Lords for the Eton and Harrow match and got back a bit late but she is such a quick dresser that a few moments after her return she appeared changed into the new evening dress Hartnell had supplied her that morning—a dull dress of white tulle embroidered with sequin butterflies and a rainbow tulle scarf around the waist. She looked very pretty and wore quite a lot of make-up—and the eyes are of a piercing blue—catlike and fierce and so very pristine and youthful….”
He added that the future Countess of Snowdon had been up until 5:30am the night before, and “towards the end of the two-hour sitting, started to wilt and became very tired”.
Last month, Dix Noonan Webb sold a group of Second World War medals awarded to Princess Margaret’s lover, Group Captain Peter Townsend. They went under the hammer, alongside the original Flying Log Books, for a hefty US$360,000.
Townsend claimed 11 kills during the Second World War and was a squadron leader in the Battle of Britain.
Princess Margaret’s bracelet, circa 1925, features a millegrain-set line of circular-cut diamonds. The millegrain technique was first developed in the late-19th century and adds a textural effect to metal.
The jewel, which is presented in a red leather Cartier case, is further elevated by an openwork geometric clasp. Frances Noble, head of the jewellery department and associate director at Dix Noonan Webb, describes the bracelet as “exquisite”.
Other items of interest in the sale include a stunning art deco aquamarine-set cocktail ring by Cartier, circa 1940, which comes with original hand-drawn designs. The ring is estimated between US$5,000 and US$8,000.
Dix Noonan Webb’s sale of Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu will take place on September 14 at its Mayfair saleroom.