NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle is honored to auction jewelry from the Estate of Janine Metz, Social Secretary to the Duchess of Windsor. The collection is a highlight of the Important Jewelry auction on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 10am.
The daughter of Parisian couturier Jack Spaner and his wife Jacqueline Brassiens, the former Janine Spaner (1928-2019) moved to New York in the 1950s, where she worked as office manager of the Air France office on lower Broadway. She returned to Paris with the goal of finding a husband, and, on a lark, answered an ad in Le Monde placed by a "Couple de diplomates" in search of a "secretaire particuliere." Following a series of five interviews, among them with the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor, she was chosen over many applicants and became for a decade the trusted assistant and confidant of one of the world's most famous and fashionable women.
Janine was married in New York in 1964 to Michael Metz (1928-2008), who would become a prominent Wall Street strategist. They had met the prior year during a visit to New York on which Janine had accompanied the Duke and Duchess. Following her marriage, Janine continued to fulfill her responsibilities as social secretary to the Duchess during the Windsors' regular visits to the United States.
Janine settled into the couple's Manhattan penthouse and spent the rest of her life cultivating close friendships with many expatriate royals and aristocrats, making the rounds of society charity galas, and generously supporting a number of organizations, including the Humane Society of New York, French Heritage Society, French Institute Alliance Francais, American Foundation of Savoy Orders, and the American Hospital of Paris.
Janine and the Duchess maintained their close friendship during the years that followed, with regular visits between New York and Paris. The last visit, a final farewell, took place in 1986 at the Windsors’ villa in the Bois de Boulogne, on the day the Duchess died.
Jewelry from the Estate of Janine Metz features a selection of high carat weight diamond and sapphire rings, a group of colorful Indian jewelry and other dazzling creations from the collection of a remarkable and fascinating woman. Additional jewelry, historical ephemera and other property from the Estate will be offered in 2020.