For sale is a piece of jewelery owned and worn by Princess Diana. Sotheby’s is putting it up for auction. The jewel will be auctioned off at the auction house’s annual Royal and Noble auction (January 6-18), which features an eclectic collection of exceptional objects and heirlooms of aristocratic provenance. Not just jewellery, furniture, ceramics, decorative objects and more are on sale. But the jewel that belonged to the princess will be guided to attract attention. This is the Atallah cross, owned by the former group managing director of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah.
According to Ramsay Atallah, son of Naim and current owner of the cross, Princess Diana was a friend of the family: King Charles’ ex-wife often visited him in the historic Garrard shop in Regent Street, where his office was located, and asked borrowed the pendant on several occasions. The cross, which has a Renaissance design, is made of gold, silver, amethyst and diamonds and was worn by Diana on several occasions, as evidenced by the photographs that portray her. For example, at a benefit ball for Birthright, the women’s health organization of which she became patron in 1984, where the cross was attached to a long pearl necklace.
Jewelry owned or worn by the late Princess Diana very rarely makes it to market, especially a piece like the Atallah Cross, which is so colourful, bold and distinctive. To some extent, this unusual pendant is symbolic of the Princess’s growing self-confidence in her sartorial and jewelery choices at that particular time in her life. We are confident that this unique 1920s piece of jewelery from Garrard, with such exceptional provenance and worn only by the Princess herself, will attract the attention of a wide variety of bidders including collectors of royal and noble jewelery as well as fans of the princess eager to share part of her story.
Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery, Sotheby’s London