Sotheby’s upcoming Magnificent Jewels sale has already been making headlines for the 10.57 ct. Eternal Pink—its “most significant” pink diamond ever, with an estimate of $35 million—but there’s another reason besides that top lot to pay attention to the June 8 auction: Mellon family jewels.
This isn’t the first time Sotheby’s is hosting jewelry from the influential American family; in 2014, the auction house achieved a whopping $218 million across 1,200 lots from the personal collection of Bunny Mellon, a confidante of Jacqueline Kennedy. Now it’s garnered a small collection of important pieces from another segment of the Mellon family: Constance Prosser Mellon and her daughter Constance (Connie) Barber Mellon.
Prosser Mellon was the daughter of New York financier Seward Prosser and married Richard King Mellon, who was the grandson of Thomas Mellon, founder of Mellon Bank and head of the Mellon dynasty. Prosser Mellon lived in Pittsburgh with her husband while daughter Connie opted for a faster-paced life between the affluent inner circles of New York and Washington. (Bunny Mellon was married to Richard King Mellon’s cousin Paul.)
Connie Barber Mellon was a patron of the National Gallery of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other institutions. Her and her mother’s appreciation of the arts is demonstrated by the incredible collections of jewels they amassed throughout their lives. Below is a closer look at a few of the pieces heading to auction next month.
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