A pair of Van Cleef & Arpels gold cuffs given by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to her step-sister Nina Straight fetched $162,500 this week at Heritage Auctions. When the hammer fell at the Beverly Hills, California sale, the 18K gold bracelets realized more than four times their lower estimate. Heritage Auctions had originally estimated them at $40,000 to $60,000.
“The bracelet cuffs matched an identical pair Kennedy Onassis often wore, marked No. 50, of a limited edition set,” said Jill Burgum, Senior Director of Jewelry at Heritage. The cuffs Kennedy Onassis gave to Straight, marked 47 and 48, were likely purchased by Kennedy Onassis at the same time she bought her pair.
At the auction, the Etruscan-style cuffs quickly soared past the $30,000 opening bid, and surpassed the price paid for Jackie O’s own cuffs when they were auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2011 for $128,500.
Heritage Auctions did not release the name of the winning bidder.
A Special Wedding Gift
Nina Straight was Jacqueline Bouvier’s maid of honor when she married John F. Kennedy in 1953. Jackie O surprised Straight with the bracelets as a wedding gift when she served as Straight’s maid of honor 21 years later.
“Jackie loved hers so much that she bought me a pair knowing I would enjoy them equally,” Straight told Heritage Auctions. “Ours was a very close relationship.”
Get the Look for Less
Accessories Magazine reports that the double cuff bracelet look is due for a comeback, thanks to the upcoming release of the film “Wonder Woman.” If you love these iconic Van Cleef & Arpels gold cuffs (and who doesn’t?), now would be a good time to start shopping for a similar style in a metal and price point you can afford.
Whether you search for your wide gold cuffs at auction, online, or in a jewelry or department store, remember to buy two for the full Jackie O effect!
Heritage Auctions Catalog Description
Van Cleef & Arpels: Parisian jeweler Alfred Van Cleef opened his salon in partnership with his brothers-in-law, Julien and Charles Arpels, in 1906. The company quickly earned a reputation for using only the highest quality colored gemstones. Their timeless designs employed elegant curves and clean fluid lines; capturing the essence of beauty in motion. Their success was immediate. In 1930, the firm patented the first minaudiere, a fancy purse-like compartmentalized lady’s vanity case. In 1933, Van Cleef and Arpels introduced “invisible setting”, or “mystery setting”. This innovative technique took the market by storm. It created the illusion of floating gems, each being fastened by wires from the underside of the piece. It was popular throughout the 1930s and 1940s before reappearing in the 1990s. The company is continues to be family run, managing locations across the globe.
For more information, visit Heritage Auctions at HA.com.