Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier wristwatch and painting sold for US$379,500, triple pre-sale estimates
A Cartier wristwatch given to Jackie Kennedy and a painting she made in 1963 as a thank-you gift sold for US$379,500 on Wednesday, more than three times pre-sale estimates, Christie’s auction house said.
Christie’s said the price was reached after three minutes of “spirited bidding” in its New York saleroom, online and by phone. It did not identify the buyer.
The auction house had estimated the watch and the painting, sold as one lot, would fetch up to US$120,000, calling them “two of the most important historic artifacts to surface in recent years from the golden era of the Kennedy Presidency.”
The Cartier tank watch, engraved on the back, was given to the then-US first lady by her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill, and she was photographed many times wearing it.
The picture was painted by Kennedy to mark a 50-mile (80-km) hike in Palm Beach in 1963 that Radziwill and other friends of the Kennedys undertook to promote fitness.
Most of Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal belongings were auctioned in 1996 following her death from cancer in 1994 at age 64. The 1996 auction at Sotheby’s in New York raised some US$34 million, more than seven times pre-sale expectations.
The seller of the watch wished to remain anonymous but has pledged to donate a portion of the auction proceeds to the National Endowment for the Arts.