Barbara Taylor Bradford at Bonhams: a jewellery collection for women of substance

03 Dec 2019 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Mhairi Mann

A collection for romantics and go-getting women 

Barbara & Bob at Literacy Partners Gala 2010

A new fine jewellery auction at Bonhams traces the enduring love story between Hollywood producer Robert (Bob) Bradford and bestselling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE. The couple met on a blind date in 1961 and fell in love on the spot, marrying two years later on Christmas Eve. Bob passed away earlier this year at the age of 94, following a stroke.

A selection of pieces from Barbara’s private collection is going under the hammer this week at Bonhams, gifted by her husband during their 55-year marriage. “Bob bought me presents all the time,” Barbara recalled during an intimate lunch at Bonhams. “Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas; for a book I wrote; a film he made. He was very imaginative and romantic and always wanted to play a trick or surprise me.”

The ten-piece jewellery collection, spanning Tiffany, Verdura, Cartier and David Morris jewellery, will go under the hammer on the 4 December 2019. Five timepieces belonging to Bob, including rare Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega watches, will be auctioned on 11 December 2019.

Barbara Taylor and Robert Bradford
A young Barbara Taylor Bradford

Leeds-born Barbara’s oeuvre includes 36 novels, including the 1979 bestseller A Woman of Substance. Bob’s commercial kudos and business acumen helped her to become one of Britain’s wealthiest women, and he also produced many of her books for television and film. Barbara’s novels, which have sold 90 million copies worldwide, pay tribute to successful, hardworking females. “Bob had no interest in weak women,” she confirmed. “He loved go-getters.”

A collection of astonishing jewels that celebrates romance, enduring love and ambitious, sparky women? That is certainly something to get on board with this Christmas.

Patek Philippe Nautilus
A limited edition enamel and multi gem-set cuff by Verdura
A fancy-coloured diamond and diamond ring
Patek Philippe Neptune and Rolex Daytona Zenith
A diamond collar and pair of ear clips
A chalcedony and diamond bead necklace by Verdura