BEVERLY HILLS — A pair of dazzling Gold Cuff Bracelets by Van Cleef & Arpels, gifted by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Nina Straight, her step-sister and maid of honor when she married John F. Kennedy in 1953, are expected to sell for $40,000 in Heritage Auctions' Contemporary Designer Jewels Auction Sept. 26 in Beverly Hills. Kennedy Onassis surprised Straight with the bracelets when she served as Straight's maid of honor 21 years later.
"They were a gift from Jackie for my wedding to Michael Straight in 1974," Straight said for an exclusive interview with Heritage Auctions' Intelligent Collector Magazine. "We were married at St. John's Cathedral in New York. Jackie gave them to me at the luncheon after the ceremony."
The cuffs matched a pair Kennedy Onassis often wore. "Jackie loved hers so much that she bought me a pair knowing I would enjoy them equally," Straight said. "I always viewed myself as Jackie's 'Sancho Panza' or sidekick. We had so much fun. Ours was a very close relationship."
Jill Burgum, Senior Director of Jewelry at Heritage said there is no telling how the collecting public will respond to a pair of cuffs gifted by the First Lady to someone so special to her life. The pair Kennedy Onassis gifted to Straight are marked 47 and 48. A bracelet from Kennedy Onassis' own pair sold previously is marked No. 50, so it is very likely that she purchased both limited edition sets at the same time and gave Straight the earlier pair, Burgum said.
"Nina was Jackie's step-sister so this was a very important and thoughtful gift by a former First Lady, who was known as an icon of American fashion," Burgum said. "Nina said she hopes they are purchased by someone equally as 'fun loving'."
The cuffs and the rest of the lots from Heritage Auction's upcoming September 26th sale can be viewed on their website.