World’s ‘most expensive’ Christmas tree covered in £12m of jewels and emu eggs

A British artist's extravagant Christmas tree is believed to be the most expensive one in the world – at a staggering £12million.

The 19ft spruce sparkles with one-of-a-kind trinkets that were hand-crafted from upcycled jewellery, emu and ostrich eggs, and designer fabrics from some of the world's top fashion houses.

A Cartier-adorned glass bauble and nutcrackers encrusted with blue sapphires and diamonds are among the ornaments hanging from the tree's branches inside the five-star Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Marbella, Spain.

Celebrity artist Debbie Wingham spent a month making over 500 decorations by hand, using materials such as vintage Louis Vuitton leather, mink fur and expensive jewellery by Bvlgari, Cartier, Van Cleef, Arpels and Chanel.

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Gems hanging from the branches include a three-carat pink diamond worth around £2million, an oval red diamond priced at £4.2million and nine three-carat black diamonds worth a total of £450,000.

Real ostrich eggs were painted with gold leaf and diamond dust paint and the entire tree glitters with 3,000 Swarovski crystals.

Debbie claims her tree smashes the current record for the world's most expensive Christmas tree.

It is currently under 24/7 security at the hotel on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol.

The previous record was reported to be a $11.4million (then £7million) sparkler displayed at The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

But within days the hotel said it regretted “attempts to overload the tradition” by glamming up the 42ft fake evergreen with gold, diamonds, rubies and gems.

After decorating the spruce tree for Marbella's Kempinski hotel, Debbie, 37, said: "Panic set in when I first saw the size of the tree they used a crane to get it in the building.

"When I hung the last ornament the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming."

She enlisted the help of celebrity friends, including Alexander McQueen's nephew Gary James McQueen, who created a digital print that is featured.

Debbie added: "It was wonderful to get the support of fellow artisan friends on this project, every part of the tree had to be custom-made.

"I was over the moon when Gary James McQueen offered to create a print especially for the tree. It's wonderful to have supportive friends in high places."

Debbie, who is well-known for her high-value creations, estimates the tree's exact value to be £11.9million.

The artist has made a series of "world's most expensive" items for billionaires in Dubai and beyond.

She holds the record for the world's most expensive cake, at £50million.

She had previously held the record for the world's most expensive shoes, priced at £11.5million.

Earlier this year she appeared on the Wendy Williams daytime TV programme in the US to debut an upcycled purse worth £5million.

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