Jackie Kennedy owned and later gifted, exquisite brooch from jewelry designer, Marcel Boucher. The large gold pin is encrusted with faux emerald and pearl cabochons is accompanied by her handwritten note. Beautiful gold pin presented to Kennedy family secretary Mary Barelli Gallagher by Jackie Kennedy as a Christmas gift in 1960. The pin measures 1.75" x 1.5" and is held within a gold rope design setting. The backing bears the mint and maker mark “6778” and “Boucher”, gold content unknown.
Included with the pin is the original handwritten note from Jackie Kennedy, penned on an ivory 4" x 3" card, in full: “Merry Christmas Mary and lots of love, Jackie”. In fine condition, with a few tiny pearls missing, which can easily be replaced.
Pieces like these, WITHOUT the association to one of the most important people in style and history, sell for many thousands of dollars. In fact, in the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Sotheby’s estate sale in the mid-1990s, a simulated pearl strand sold for over $200,000. When Jackie was adorned with something that a close associate admired, it is well known that her generous nature often led to her gifting the item to them.
Accompanied by the original envelope addressed in Kennedy’s own hand, “Mrs. Mary Gallagher, c/o John F. Kennedy, 3307 N. St NW Washington DC” as well as the letter of provenance from Gallagher. In part: “This is to serve as proof of authenticity regarding the above item. Since received this, it has remained in my possession at my home in Alexandria, Virginia. I was formerly secretary to Senator John F. Kennedy…and Personal Secretary to Mrs. John F. Kennedy….” Supported by provenance from Jackie’s trusted friend and secretary, this is a gorgeous gift from the soon-to-be First Lady, a woman long remembered for her enduring impact on modern style.
Born in Paris, Marcel Boucher worked as a jewelry designer for Cartier, who brought him to the United States. In the 1930s, he took a job with Mazer Bros., where he worked until he founded his own company in 1937. Boucher made a name for himself creating bold, imaginative, enameled pieces that were individual works of art, with brooches shaped like fruits, animals, and human figures. In particular, collectors covet for his fantasy bird pieces from the 1940s. Boucher items, which are usually signed, can be roughly dated based on their inventory number and mark. In 1944, he changed the company name from Marcel Boucher Ltd. to Marcel Boucher & Cie. Early pieces may be marked “Marboux” or with his initials in a cartouche. “MB Sterling” was used between 1942 and 1944. Pieces made between 1944 and 1949 may be marked with a Phrygian cap above his initials. Later pieces are marked “Marcel Boucher” or “Boucher.” After 1955, the copyright symbol appears before his name. When Marcel Boucher died in 1965, his wife, Sandra, took over the company. In 1972, the company became a subsidiary of watchmaker Dovorn Industries.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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