Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was the embodiment of class, the Queen of Camelot for 1,000 days. Jackie was a writer, editor, loving mother, and an advocate of history and the arts. As a patron of the two subjects, Jackie dedicated her time and energy to the furtherment of these important cultural endeavors. Jackie Kennedy’s most notable contribution was her selfless absorption into the restoration and redecoration of the White House. She was profoundly influenced by other countries and took much time to visit with people of varied cultures and traditions. Most importantly, and for the sake of this blog, Jackie Kennedy was significantly famous for her elegant taste in jewelry. She was so influential that today people refer to Jackie’s favorite pieces of jewelry as ‘signature’ pieces.
Jackie Kennedy led a strict, private life after the tragic assassination of her late husband and former president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, she then remarried businessman Aristotle Onassis who greatly enlarged Jackie’s jewelry collection. In a way due to Jackie Kennedy’s reserved public appearance and concern with privacy, she became a person of interest. She was inadvertently thrust into the limelight after her passing in 1994. The Sotheby’s Auction of the Kennedy’s estate was a raving success, two years later, an tribute to Jackie’s popularity.
Jackie Kennedy enjoyed jewelry pieces by French and American jewelers; she had an affinity to jewelry by French born jewelers Charles Arpels and Alfred Van Clef. Due to her First lady status, she was required to choose her jewelry accessories carefully. She met with many striking, intimidating forces, from world leaders to musicians and artists. Jackie Kennedy paid fine attention to detail and made some very distinct jewelry choices. Her signature pieces include her triple-strand pearl necklace designed by American jeweler Kennedy Jay Lane, her lovely “berry brooch” by French jewelry Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co, Jackie’s coined signature ‘Jackie’s bracelets’ gold and enamel bracelets by Kenneth Jay Lane, and her gold and white enamel “banana” earrings. Kennedy’s estate sold for a total of $34.5 million, while her estate was projected to only make a $4.6 million sale.