January 28, 2023

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Atallah’s cross that Diana, Princess of Wales famously wore with her Elizabethan-style Catherine Walker gown at a charity gala in London in 1987, is expected to fetch up to £120,000 at auction.

The Garrard crucifix necklace — engraved with gold, silver, amethysts, and diamonds — will lead Sotheby’s annual Royal and Noble sales, which begin January 6 and end January 18.

Diana wore the necklace at a charity gala in London on October 27, 1987, in aid of Birthrights, a charity working to protect human rights during pregnancy and childbirth, of which she became patron in 1984.

The piece reflected her lifelong relationship with Garrard, who had adapted The Spencer Tiara for her wedding day and from which she chose her sapphire engagement ring in 1981.

In her last public appearance, Diana wore a Garrard diamond and South Sea pearl that became known as the Swan Lake necklace.

The Atallah Cross necklace was once owned by the late CEO of the Asprey & Garrard Group, the late Naim Atallah, who often loaned it to Diana to wear at events.

It was later passed on to his son, Ramsay Atallah, who said: “Princess Diana and my father were friends and I remember her often coming to see him at Garrard’s historic shop in Regent Street, where his office was, and she’d ask to borrow the necklace on several occasions. I really liked the piece.” .”

It is understood the necklace was only worn by Diana, the auction house said, and after her death, it was never seen in public again.

Christiane Spofforth, Head of Jewelery at Sotheby’s London, said: “Jewellery owned or worn by the late Princess Diana is rarely offered, especially a piece like Atallah’s cross, which is colourful, bold and distinctive.

In a sense, this unusual necklace is a symbol of the princess’ increasing self-assertion in her choices of clothing and jewelry at that particular moment in her life.

“We are confident that this unique piece of 1920s jewelery by Garrard, with such extraordinary provenance and which has only been worn by the Princess herself, will attract the attention of a variety of presenters, including collectors of the Royal Jewels. And the noblewoman, in addition to the admirers of the princess, is eager to share a part of her history.