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Dame Joan Collins’ Jewels Headline Bonhams Sale In London


Tomorrow, the Knightsbridge Jewels sale at Bonhams London will include 11 jewels owned by Dame Joan Collins (of Dynasty fame), and there’s a little bit of Alexis Colby—the role that made her famous—in all of them.

Here’s one with a fun story: The turquoise, sapphire, and gold necklace below was given to Collins by actor Warren Beatty, then her fiancé, on the occasion that he landed the lead role in the film Splendor in the Grass (1961). They were living in New York in the apartment of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward at the time.

Bonhams Joan Collins turquoise and gold necklace
Lot 104: circa 1900 turquoise, sapphire, and gold necklace

Carole Gordon, head of jewelry, Bonhams Knightsbridge, said in a statement: “Dame Joan Collins is known for her Hollywood glamour, as well as her enthralling stories. In her jewelry we find both.”

The  jewels in this sale deliver on all fronts, almost as if Collins knew that 32 years after the series she starred in ended the world would be desperate for some Dynasty-level dressing up, and she’d need to have some options for us at the ready.

In the summer issue of Bonhams’ in-house magazine, Collins is quoted as saying: “I do buy jewelry for myself as a reward. It’s something I highly recommend. I think more women should do it.… I do hope my jewels in the sale will inspire women. Now we are edging into a more normal life, aren’t we all looking forward to putting on a fabulous frock, piling on jewelry, and plunging into the fray?”

I picked out some very apropos contenders, below. (Collins prepared remarks on each piece in the sale, and I’ve included them here.)

We’ll start with my favorite, a perfectly 1980s gold torque.

Bonhams Joan Collins gold torque
Lot 99: gold torque necklace. “I bought this for myself in California, when I first got the role of Alexis in Dynasty,” said Collins in prepared remarks for the sale. “I always like to buy myself something when I get a new job. It’s like a little reward!”
Bonhams Joan Collins coral brooch
Lot 109: circa 1970 coral and diamond brooch in gold, Arthur King. “Anthony Newley, the father of my two eldest children, Tara and Alexander, was in New York with his show Stop the World—I Want to Get Off, and, as it was my birthday, we went window-shopping on Fifth Avenue. We happened to pass Arthur King, who was a very popular jeweler at the time, where I saw this fabulous brooch. I just adored it, which I told Tony a number of times. Imagine the thrill when I opened up my birthday presents and there it was.”
Bonhams Joan Collins pearl and ruby bracelet
Lot 102: cultured pearl and ruby bracelet. “This pearl and ruby bracelet has a lot of memories. It was given to me on my 21st birthday by my parents. I wore the bracelet for a long time, but now I feel that someone else might like to wear it. It is gorgeous.”
Bonhams Joan Collins jade and diamond earrings
Lot 100: jade and diamond pendant earrings. “One of my great friends was the chanteuse and nightclub owner Régine. We were in Rio de Janeiro at the time of the carnival, but that didn’t stop Régine from visiting jewelry shops. So we wove our way through the singing and dancing crowds to the shop. I was so carried away by the atmosphere, I bought these gorgeous earrings.”
Bonhams Joan Collins Tiffany bangle
Lot 106: ropetwist gold and enamel bangle, Tiffany & Co. “I bought this in Rome in 1960 while I was in a biblical spectacle called Esther and the King. I was walking down the Via Condotti near the Spanish Steps when I saw it in the window and bought it on impulse.”
Bonhams Joan Collins Vasari earclips
Lot 105: ear clips with pink tourmaline, mother-of-pearl, and diamonds earrings, Vasari. “These were given to me by my friend the actress Viviane Ventura. She gave those to me after a photo shoot we did together in South Africa. I still find them extremely pretty.”

Top: Lot 103: ruby, diamond, and enamel dress ring. “I bought this during Dynasty during the 1980s. I saw it in Beverly Hills Jewellers and thought it very original and unusual. I actually wore it in Dynasty, as it felt like an extension of Alexis’ personality.” Live bids for Bonhams’ Knightsbridge Jewels sale start at 6 a.m. ET. (All photos courtesy of Bonhams)

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Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

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