February 25, 2007

Duchess of Windsor

The Peak of Chic had an article about the interior designer Billy Baldwin the other week and we got to thinking about some other notable Baltimoreans. Another style-maker of Baldwin's same time period was the Duchess of Windsor, former Baltimorean, Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor.

As I was out-and-about yesterday, I noticed this hanging in the neighbourhood where she was born and lived until she got married. The Warfield side of her family is an old Maryland family, but her father died when she was an infant and she lived with her mother in relative poverty, or shabby gentility.
In 1998, the contents of her house outside of Paris, which were owned by Mohammad Al Fayed, owner of Harrods in London and father of Dodi Fayed, who was killed in the accident with Princess Diana, were auctioned by Sotheby's for more than $23 million.

Much of her jewellry was designed by the Duke of Windsor and made for her by Cartier in Paris. Much of the jewellry is shown in the book The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, which is now out of print, but is available on Amazon. Another book, Windsor Style, by Susie Menkes is also out of print, but at Amazon.

More than 20 years after her death, the Duchess of Windsor still fascinates us.


  1. Def. one of my favorite topics! I have the auction catalog in storage. Never did get the Suzy book...will have to look on eBay for it! Thanks for the reminder :-)

  2. Thank you so much for this post!! Both she and David were such interesting people. While there are aspects of them that I do not admire, I do think they had excellent taste. I have the auction catalogue and the jewelry book, but still need to get the style book. Great post!

  3. She was, and still is vilified in Britain. She is universally despised.


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