A Cartier timepiece owned by King Edward VIII is expected to fetch around £30k when it goes under the hammer this weekend.
The watch is just one of a number of jewels from King Edward VIII and his wife up for sale at the Henry Aldridge and Son Auction house on Saturday.
The onyx pocket watch by Cartier, circa 1936, was designed as a rectangular onyx plaque with a similarly shaped dial at the centre and features a winding crown which inscribes ‘Easter 12/4/36’.
The inscription is the date when Edward’s partner gave the piece to him as a present, just a few months before he controversially abdicated the throne in December and subsequently settled with Ms Wallis Simpson, as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The watch has a pre-sale estimate of £25,000 – £30,000 with the buyer’s premium included.
Andrew Aldrige, of Henry Aldridge and Son, said: “Edward and Wallis represented one of the most controversial love stories of the 20th century, and the Cartier watch represents a small but important part of that story. It was a personal gift from Wallis to Edward in Easter 1936, which was the only Easter he was king.”
He added: “It is important on many levels, first and foremost is its provenance and the fact that it was given to Edward during that short period he was king by the most important person in his life who he sacrificed everything for. Their relationship caused the constitutional crises that resulted in his abdication only months later and this is a tangible piece of history from that time.”
In 1987, following the death of Edward in 1972 and then Ms Simpson in 1986, the couple’s possessions went up for auction and and fetched £30m.
Some of the items from the 1987 ‘Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor’ auction, including the Cartier watch, are now to be auctioned by Hendry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.
Another notable timepiece going under the hammer this weekend is a Jaeger Lecoultre navigator/pilots mark XI.
The piece, made for the Ministry of Defence and issued to the R.A.F, is expected to go for up to £2000.