On Wednesday 18th January 2023, Kim Kardashian acquired the Attallah Cross, a unique piece of jewelry owned and, said to have been lovingly favored, by Princess Diana, for £163,800 GBP ($197,453 USD) in a Sotheby’s auction.
Part of Sotheby’s London Royal and Noble sale, which presents an eclectic collection of outstanding objects and sumptuous heirlooms with aristocratic provenance – the cross used to be owned by the former group chief executive of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah CBE.
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 for Ms. Kardashian at more than double its pre-auction estimate.
“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,” said Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery, Sotheby’s London.
The Attallah cross, is a pendant created in 1920s by court jewelers Garrard, which Princess Diana had a particular fondness for and most famously wore in October 1987, paired with a deep purple Catherine Walker dress, to a charity gala. The cross was purchased 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.
Princess Diana had a long-standing relationship with Garrard, having selected her engagement ring from them in 1981. Over the years she would collaborate with Garrard and wear pieces from the illustrious jewelry house on many occasions, including after her divorce. In her last public appearance, she wore what has come to be known as the Swan Lake necklace, a diamond and South Sea pearl necklace which they had made in collaboration with her.