Unraveling Wallis Simpson’s Iconic Panther Bracelet by Cartier

It would be impossible to talk about the iconic Panther Bracelet of Wallis Simpson without sharing light on three people who were instrumental in making this historical jewelry happen. Wallis Simpson, Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier.

Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII’s love story is one of the most romantic, controversial, and talked about love stories in the royal family’s history. They defied conventions and faced scrutiny for their love, ultimately leading to Edward’s abdication from the British throne to be with the woman he loved.

Obviously, there was something so special about her that King Edward abdicated the throne to marry her. It is her strong-willed nature, magnetic personality, and unapologetic individuality that King Edward fell in love with. She was a woman who set fashion trends, exuded extravagant style, and flair for fashion.  

Given her love for CATS, it is no surprise that creations by Cartier were one of her favorites. They were unique and had an accentuated design language.

It is believed that the Panther held significant symbolic meaning for all three contributors of this iconic bracelet; Wallis Simpson, Jeanne Toussaint, and Louis Cartier, the company’s founder.

Wallis Simpson Panther Bracelet

One among many, Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet is a famous and iconic piece of jewelry in the history of jewellery. The bracelet was a gift from King Edward VIII to his wife, Wallis Simpson, who later became the Duchess of Windsor.

Designed by Cartier in 1952, the Panther Bracelet features a unique design with a three-dimensional panther crafted from white gold and encrusted with diamonds, onyx spots, and emerald eyes. 

The panther appears to be in a stalking position, capturing the grace and elegance of the animal. The bracelet is renowned for its craftsmanship, artistry, and association with their love story 

King Edward and Wallis Thompson were often found to be a part of the design process and actively suggested how the design should progress. Jeanne Toussaint, Louis Cartier’s partner, personally oversaw their jewellery pieces. 

Known as Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson owned a vast collection of exquisite jewelry pieces. However, she was widely popular for her “Great Cats” collection. Great Cats were designed by Jeanne Toussaint, who was famous for wearing panther suits often and thus was nicknamed ‘La Panthere’ by Louis Cartier. 

It was in 1914, that La Panthere (Toussaint) developed the first model of Panther as a trademark design for Cartier. They continued to evolve the panther design over the years until the first three-dimensional panther was made for the Duchess of Windsor. 

The panther has long been associated with elegance, power, and seductiveness. Wallis Simpson and Jeanne Toussaint both were known for these attributes. Panther Bracelet was one of the three cats owned by Wallis. She saved the best design for last, for it turned out to be the most iconic among all three. 

The Panther Bracelet is more than a mere accessory; it is a work of art with profound historical and cultural significance. It has transcended time and fashion trends, remaining an iconic symbol of luxury and style. The bracelet has been featured in countless exhibitions, books, and magazines, admired by jewelry connoisseurs and enthusiasts worldwide.

After Wallis Simpson’s death in 1986, her extensive jewelry collection, including the Panther Bracelet, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva in 1987. Most definitely, this auction changed the tone of auctions to come. The iconic panther bracelet fetched a record-breaking price twice, once in 1987 and again in 2010 when it resurfaced.

Today, the Panther Bracelet serves as a tangible reminder of Wallis and Edward’s extraordinary journey! 

For many more such stories on famous and iconic jewelry, continue to watch this space. We would love to hear from you on connect@firstgenjeweller.com

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