Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson jewels go for 12 mln dollars

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A collection of exceptional jewels belonging to King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, the woman he abdicated the throne for in a crisis which shook the monarchy, fetched almost eight million pounds (12.4 million dollars, 9.5 million euros) at auction Tuesday.

Of the 20 lots owned by the couple, it was a Cartier onyx and diamond panther bracelet which attracted the largest bid, fetching over 4.5 million pounds at the London auction. It is the most ever paid for a bracelet at auction, reports said.

Other items sold in the "exceptional jewels and precious objects collection" included gold watches, cigarette cases, various medals and Cartier brooches.

"It's not just jewellery, these are pieces of British history," said David Bennett of Sotheby's auction house. "For many pieces they supplied their own stones and were involved in the design process.

"Many pieces are engraved with intimate inscriptions. It's a document of their love affair," he added.

One Cartier compass is engraved "No excuse for going in the wrong direction, easter 1939," and a heart-shaped brooch bears the initials "W.E", for "Wallis. Edward" on the back.

The pair caused a massive scandal in 1936 when Edward abdicated from the British throne so that he could marry Simpson, who was divorced.

US star Madonna is currently directing a film about the affair called W.E, which will star British actors James and Laurence Fox and Australian actress Abbie Cornish.

© 2010 AFP

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