High on the list of the most coveted jewels for any jewellery collector or connoisseur is a pair of hammered gold cuff bracelets by Van Cleef & Arpels made famous by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. (Lire en français)
In the 1970s, the renowned French jewellery Maison looked back to the goldsmith work of Ancient Greece for inspiration when designing these limited number of bold, hand-hammered gold cuffs.
The former first lady was an icon for her signature style and fashionable attire, and her jewellery was no exception. After she appeared in public wearing the cuffs in 1977 with Muhammad Ali at a pre-game celebration for the Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament, the design skyrocketed in popularity.
In April 1996 her jewellery collection came up for auction at Sotheby’s and part of the sale was this pair of hammered 18 karat gold cuff bracelets. Estimated to fetch $1,500 to $2,000, the cuffs sold for nearly 84 times the high estimate, achieving a total of $167,500.