Cf.: The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, Sotheby's Geneva, 2-3 April 1987, lot 88, for the illustration of the ruby and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels in its present form by Renée-Sim Lacaze in 1939.
Cf.: Evelyne Possémé, Van Cleef & Arpels, The Art of High Jewellery, Paris, 2012, pgs. 100 - 101 for other examples of 1930s ruby necklaces.
One was commissioned in 1936 by the Duke of Windsor, then King Edward VIII, from Van Cleef & Arpels and offered as a gift to Mrs. Simpson on her fortieth birthday, 19 June 1936. The first version of this necklace, which was later altered, consisted of a triple festoon of rubies with diamond set motifs at the sides. The Duchess of Windsor, was photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937 wearing the ruby and diamond necklace in its original form, as illustrated above.
The other necklace, also by Van Cleef & Arpels, was part of the collection of Hélène Beaumont, and was offered at auction at Sotheby's Geneva in May 1994 (lot 523, illustrated to the left). Three rows of rubies at the centre are highlighted with diamond baguettes, similar to the piece offered in this sale.
The well matched rubies, both in colour and quality, its classical geometric Art Deco design, so emblematic of the 1930s and its exceptional craftsmanship, all elevate the piece offered here undoubtedly to the level of an important jewel.
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