The Attallah Cross, a unique piece of jewellery said to have been favoured by Princess Diana, sold for £163,800 / $197,453 to American media personality and businesswoman Kim Kardashian, in a sale at Sotheby’s London on January 18, 2023.
The amethyst cross was competed for by four bidders in the last five minutes of Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale, ultimately landing in the hands of a representative of Ms. Kardashian at more than double its pre-auction estimate.
The Attallah Cross. Picture courtesy of Sotheby’s
Part of Sotheby’s London Royal and Noble sale, which presents an eclectic collection of outstanding objects and sumptuous heirlooms with aristocratic provenance – from furniture, ceramics, decorative items and more – the cross used to be owned by the former group chief executive of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah CBE.
The Attallah Cross, of fleurée style – made distinct by flowery design details – is a pendant created in the 1920s by court jewellers Garrard, which Princess Diana had a particular fondness for and most famously wore in October 1987, paired with a Catherine Walker dress, to a charity gala in support of Birthright, a charity working towards the protection of human rights during pregnancy and childbirth.
The cross was bought by Naim Attallah CBE, from Garrard in the 1980s and through his friendship with Princess Diana, he was able to loan it to her several times over a number of years to wear at events. It is understood that the cross was only ever worn by the Princess, and following her death, it was never seen in public again until now.
The cross-shaped pendant – thought to be a one-off private commission by Garrard for one of their regular clients – is a bold and colourful piece set with square-cut amethysts and accented by circular-cut diamonds. The cross has a total diamond weight of approximately 5.25 carats and measures approximately 136 x 95mm.