In the final five minutes of the sale of the Royal and Noble collection at London’s Sotheby’s auction house on Wednesday, a Kardashian representative managed to outbid others vying for the amethyst cross.
The item sold for more than double its pre-auction estimate, Sotheby’s said.
“This is a bold piece of jewelry in size, color and style that cannot fail to make a vibrant statement, whether of faith or fashion – or even both,” said Kristian Spofforth, Head of jewelry at Sotheby’s London, in a press release on Wednesday.
“We are thrilled that this piece has found new life in the hands of another world-famous name,” Spofforth added.
The pendant was made by Garrard jewelers in 1920 and sold to businessman Naim Attallah in the 1980s. Credit: Sotheby’s
Made by court jewelers Garrard in 1920, according to the auction house, the pendant features square-cut amethyst stones in a cross shape, adorned with circular-cut diamonds in a distinct floral pattern.
The piece measures approximately 5.4 inches by 3.7 inches and has a total diamond weight of approximately 5.25 carats.
It was purchased from Garrard in the 1980s by late businessman Naim Attallah, who loaned the item to his friend Princess Diana on several occasions to wear at events, according to Sotheby’s.
Princess Diana “had a special fondness” for the pendant, the auction house said, and she famously showcased it wearing a black and purple Catherine Walker dress at a charity gala in aid of Birthright, a charity working to protect human rights during pregnancy and childbirth, in October 1987.
Princess Diana wore the pendant to a charity gala in October 1987. Credit: Photo library by Tim Graham/Getty Images
“Princess Diana’s confidence grew during the 1980s as she became known for her increasingly daring fashion choices, moving away from the more romantic and understated style she had hitherto favored” , Sotheby’s said in the statement.
“The fact that she is known to have worn what is now known as the Attallah Cross on several occasions – mostly on private occasions, confirms this development,” he added.
The auction house understands that Diana was the only one to carry the cross, and this is the first time she has appeared in public since her death.