Princess Diana wearing the Attallah Cross on a pearl rope at the Birthright charity gala in 1987
PHOTO BY TIM GRAHAM PHOTO LIBRARY VIA GETTY IMAGES
As a real-life princess, she had little need for costume jewellery, but Diana, Princess of Wales had a taste for the theatrical, and now one of the most dramatic pieces worn by the style icon is to be sold at auction.
Owned by Diana’s friend, the publisher Naim Attallah, the 1920s crucifix pendant was lent to the Princess most famously in 1987, when she wore it to a fundraiser for the charity Birthright (left). The piece, known as the Attallah cross, added a flourish to her equally bold black-and-purple Catherine Walker dress, which featured an Elizabethan-inspired ruff.
“Few people could carry this piece off, but Diana really could,” Naim’s son Ramsay says. “It was never worn by anyone other than her and hasn’t been seen in public since she died.”
Due to be sold by Sotheby’s later this month, the gold, silver, amethyst and diamond design is expected to fetch in excess of £120,000.