Princess Margaret's Bracelet Bidding War! Iconic 19th Birthday Jewelry Scores 10 Times Expected Auction Take
The Art Deco accessory was expected to fetch up to $55,000, but the highest bidder ended up paying more than half a million dollars when all was said and done
Princess Margaret was known for her glamorous style — and one particularly iconic piece of her jewelry sparked an international bidding frenzy on Tuesday.
A Cratier bracelet, dating circa 1925, that was worn by Queen Elizabeth's younger sister for her official 19th birthday portrait in 1949 scored nearly $550,000 after a thrilling auction. The gavel dropped at £320,000, according to the auction house, though post-sale fees brought up the total to £396,800.
Sold by Dix Noonan Webb's Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu, the Art Deco piece featuring pearls and diamonds had been expected to fetch a fraction of that price, with pre-sale estimates putting the bracelet's upmost sale price at around $55,000.
Before the breathtaking deal, Frances Noble, head of jewelry and associate director at the London-based auction house, called the auction "a rare opportunity to purchase a very personal piece of Royal history with an impeccable provenance."
According to the item's description, "the double strand of cultured pearls highlighted by a millegrain-set row of brilliant-cut diamonds, to a cultured pearl and diamond-set shield-shaped clasp of openwork geometric design, millegrain edged, mounted in platinum, the clasp engraved with the ownership mark 'M' beneath The Princess Margaret's coronet, further stamped 'M' for Mikimoto and 'P' for platinum, later fitted case by Cartier."
The bracelet was described before the auction as being in "overall very good condition," although its box is "heavily scuffed" on its exterior.
The sale of the bracelet included a Certificate of Provenance from Kensington Palace, dated June 13, 2006.
Fans of Princess Margaret's fashion can also visit Kensington Palace and see an elaborate ball gown she donned for an 18th century-themed charity ball in 1964.