American reality TV show star Kim Kardashian has purchased the Attallah Cross, a unique piece of amethyst jewellery that Princess Diana was known for wearing on special occasions.
Kardashian bought the pendant for USD 197,453 at the Sotheby’s London Royal and Noble sale, beating out three other bidders in the last five minutes of the sale. According to Sotheby’s, the amount was more than double its pre-auction estimate.
Like the Lady Dior bag she immortalised, Princess Diana turned the Attallah Cross into an iconic fashion piece when she wore it to a gala in support of Birthright, a charity which works for human rights during pregnancy and childbirth, in October 1987.
More about the Attallah Cross and its history
A cross-shaped pendant with amethysts and diamonds
The Attallah Cross is a pendant with flowery design details that was created by court jewellers Garrard in the 1920s. As per Sotheby’s, it is set with square-cut amethysts and accented by circular-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.25 carats.
The cross was bought from Garrad by businessman Naim Attallah, the former group chief executive of Asprey & Garrard, in the 1980s.
Naim Attallah loaned the cross-shaped pendant to Princess Diana on several occasions. One of the occasions was the 1987 charity gala, where she paired the cross with a Catherine Walker dress.
“Princess Diana and my father were friends and I remember that she often came to see him at the historic Garrard store on Regent Street, where his office was, and she would ask to borrow the pendant on several occasions – she really loved the piece,” said Ramsay Attallah in a statement.
Not seen in public following Diana’s death
Sotheby’s said that the pendant was only ever worn by Princess Diana and was not seen in public after her death in 1997 till the day of the auction.
“This is a bold piece of jewellery by its size, colour and style which cannot fail to make a vibrant statement, whether it be of faith or fashion – or indeed both. We are delighted that this piece has found a new lease of life within the hands of another globally famous name,” Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery, Sotheby’s London, said in a statement.
It was Atallah’s estate that put the pendant up for auction.
Kim Kardashian’s love for historic fashion items
The pendant is Kardashian’s latest interest in a historic fashion item. She wore a Marilyn Monroe gown to Met Gala 2022.
Monroe wore the gown in 1962 during a performance of Happy Birthday to US president John F. Kennedy.
According to BBC, the gown was loaned to Kardashian, one of the world’s most followed celebrities on Instagram, by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum.
(Main and Featured images: Courtesy of Sotheby’s)