Lot 267. A pair of ruby and diamond ear pendants, by Van Cleef & Arpels and a ring. Estimate CHF 250,000 - CHF 350,000. Price realised CHF 281,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2015


Each ear pendant top designed as an openwork pavé-set diamond leaf, suspending a detachable cabochon ruby and brilliant-cut diamond cluster pendant, 1968; the ring centering a heart-shaped cabochon ruby within a brilliant-cut diamond surround to the pavé-set diamond shoulders, mounted in gold, ear pendants 7.6 cm, ring size 4¼ with ring sizer, ear pendants with French assay mark for gold. Ear pendant tops signed and with maker's mark for Van Cleef & Arpels, no. NY 39287 (2).

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, 23-26 April 1996, lots 444 and 445.

Note: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, New York. The first child of a successful stockbroker on Wall Street, Jackie grew into a cultured young lady, passionate with literature, and an accomplished equestrian, destined for a bright future. Jackie was brought to the public eye by her marriage, in 1953, to then Senator of Massachusetts, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, an ambitious and brilliant decorated war hero, on his way to become the future President of the United States of America. The beautiful couple entered the White House as the new Presidential couple in 1961. 

The assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd, 1963, ended Jackie's role as First Lady, and punctuated a turn in history and in her life, pushing Jackie to relocate to Europe a few years later. With her charm and popularity, she soon became part of the European Bella gente, through which she met Aristotle Onassis, the prominent Greek shipping magnate billionaire. She married Onassis in 1968, shortly after their encounter, on his private island of Skorpis, in Greece.

Aristotle Onassis chose this pair of ruby and diamond ear pendants as a wedding present, in 1968. 


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis with Aristotle Socrates Onassis, wearing the ruby and diamond ear pendants, 1970s. © CORBIS

Christie's. GENEVA MAGNIFICENT JEWELS, 13 May 2015, Geneva