“Heiress to the retail tycoon Frank W. Woolworth, Barbara Hutton endured a disturbed childhood that made it hard for her to form relationships. Seven times married, she acquired several grand foreign titles, but was cynically exploited by many of her husbands. Although much envied for her possessions and her life of leisure, she remained deeply insecure, often taking refuge in drink, drugs and playboys. She ended her days almost bankrupt, owing to her naivete and compulsive generosity…”
A sordid story certainly but she was also known for her fantastic art and jewelry collection.
“Over the years, apart from an important inheritance which included Old Master paintings and important sculptures, she also personally acquired a magnificent collection of her own which included the spectrum of arts, porcelain, valuable jewelry, including elaborate historic pieces that had once belonged to Marie Antoinette and Empress Eugénie of France, and important pieces by Fabergé and Cartier. Among her pieces of jewelry was the 40-carat Pasha Diamond, which she purchased as an unusual octagonal brilliant-cut but had recut into a round brilliant, bringing it down to 36 carats.