A famous necklace worn by Princess Diana is expected to fetch up to £120,000 at auction. The Attallah Cross, a crucifix pendant by jewellers Garrard — embossed with gold, silver, amethyst and diamonds — will lead the Sotheby’s annual Royal & Noble sale, which begins on January 6.
Diana memorably wore it to a charity ball in 1987 with an Elizabethan-style Catherine Walker gown. The piece reflected her lifelong relationship with Garrard, which adapted The Spencer Tiara for her wedding day and from whom she selected her sapphire engagement ring in 1981.
The Attallah Cross was owned by the former boss of Asprey and Garrard, the late Naim Attallah, who would often lend it to Diana to wear at events.It was later passed on to his son Ramsay, who said: ‘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.’ Kristian Spofforth of Sotheby’s said: ‘Jewellery owned or worn by the late Princess Diana very rarely comes on to the market, especially a piece such as the Attallah Cross. We are confident that this unique 1920s piece, with such an exceptional provenance and only ever worn by the Princess herself, will attract a wide variety of bidders.’
The necklace is understood to only have been worn by Diana and, after her death, it was never seen in public again, the auction house said.