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Sotheby's: Calvin,
Kelly Klein to Sell
Pearls, Diamonds
from Duchess of

22/09/07. Sotheby's New York will offer three lots of magnificent natural
pearl and diamond jewels from the collection of Kelly and Calvin Klein on
December 4. The auction house calls the offerings of historical importance
as the Kleins purchased the pieces during a 1987 Sotheby's Geneva
auction of jewels from the Duchess of Windsor collection.

Sotheby's describes the top offerings as a single-strand natural pearl and
diamond necklace (est. $1.5 million to $2 million,) a natural pearl and
diamond pendant (est. $400,000 to $600,000,) and a pair of black and white
natural pearl and diamond earclips (est. $300,000 to $500,000.)

In the 20 years since the Windsor sale, few pieces from that incomparable
collection have been re-offered at auction, and none as significant as the
iconic natural pearls acquired by the Kleins. The pearls will be featured
extensively worldwide in a pre-sale exhibition before the December sale.
Duchess of Windsor

The necklace, pendant, and earclips will be offered as three lots in Sotheby’
s December sale of Magnificent Jewels and carry a combined estimate of
$2.2 million to $3.1 million.

In 1987 Calvin bought the natural pearl jewels from the Duchess of
Windsor’s collection for Kelly, because of their extraordinary quality and
provenance and classic style, Sotheby's stated. The Duchess of Windsor
was often photographed wearing the necklace and pendant. The single-
strand natural pearl and diamond necklace by Cartier, Paris, once
belonged to Queen Mary, wife of King George V, who gifted it to her son,
the Duke of Windsor.

“These pearls hold a very special place in my heart,” Kelly said. “They
were a present from Calvin early on in our relationship. They represent
passion, tenderness and a promise about the future. Pearls, in my mind,
are different from diamonds or gold. They are warm, mysterious, a small
miracle created by nature. They should be worn close to the skin, imbued
with the essence of the wearer. It is my hope they will be given again, as
they have been in the past, as a gesture of love and worn often and

Lisa Hubbard, chairman of North and South America's international
jewelry department for Sotheby's, said,  “The sale of The Jewels of the
Duchess of was the definitive iconic auction. Her jewels, in some cases
literally with small inscriptions, spoke of the romance they celebrated and
the glamorous lifestyle she shared with the Duke of Windsor. We are
honored to be able to offer to a new generation of collectors these
magnificent pearls on behalf of Kelly and Calvin Klein, with whom they
have resided for the past 20 years. The classic style for which the Kleins
are known has immeasurably added to the tale these jewels have to tell.
Their beauty and rarity, and historic provenance, are a unique combination
that will appeal to a worldwide audience of connoisseurs who seek to own
the best of the best.”

The single-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace is composed of 28
natural pearls graduating from approximately 16.8 to 9.2 mm., completed
by an oval clasp set with 2 emerald-cut diamonds weighing approximately
2.00 carats and 2 fancy-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 1.00
carat, bordered by 20 small round diamonds weighing approximately 0.70
carat. The length of the necklace is 14 inches, with a clasp signed Cartier,
Paris. The necklace was lot 65 in the 1987 sale of The Jewels of the
Duchess of Windsor.

The natural pearl and diamond pendant, Cartier, Paris, circa 1950, may be
worn as a drop on the aforementioned necklace. The large natural pearl
drop of slightly baroque form measures approximately 18.4 mm. in
diameter, drilled and capped by single-cut and round diamonds, on a
detachable stirrup-shaped diamond-set pendant fitting. The pearl is stated
to weigh 190.60 grains. This natural pearl pendant was sold to the current
owners as lot 67 in the sale of The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor in

The collection also includes a pair of black and white natural pearl and
diamond earclips, Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, 1957. According to the
archives of Van Cleef & Arpels in New York, these earclips were made in
1957 and purchased the following year. Offered in the sale of The Jewels
of the Duchess of Windsor as lot 66, the earclips, mounted in white gold,
are set with a black pearl measuring approximately 18.2 mm. and a white
pearl measuring approximately 18.1 mm., within borders of 32 pear-shaped
and 64 round diamonds, weighing a total of approximately 9.25 carats.

The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, Geneva, 1987

On April 2, 1987, the personal jewelry collection of the late Duchess of
Windsor, comprising magnificent examples of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels,
and Harry Winston jewels, was sold for $50.3 million, seven times the
presale estimate and a standing world record for any single-owner jewelry

The unique collection brought to life the relationship of the Duke and
Duchess, which was hailed the romance of the century. Many of the pieces
were collaborative efforts between the jewelers and the Duke, who had an
exemplary eye and a taste for creating innovative style. The elegant
Duchess was for many years one of the world’s best dressed women, and
she selected fashions as backdrops for the jewels loved by both her and
the Duke. It was these elements of history, quality, design and romance
that drew international buyers such as the Kleins to participate in the
auction twenty years ago.

Intense bidding was relayed simultaneously in a tent overlooking Lake
Geneva in Switzerland and in Sotheby’s New York salesroom, and many
items sold for up to ten times their expected price.