Auction aficionados were all abuzz this past week over the stunning estate of Rachel Lowe Lambert Lloyd Mellon, otherwise known as Bunny Mellon. Bunny had many titles in her life, Heiress, Wife, Mother, Botanist, Friend of Jacqueline Kennedy, Her death at 103 in March of this year was reported with headlines saying one of the last great heiresses had passed away. Born into a wealthy family and married into an even wealthier one, her entire wardrobe, including gardening clothes were designed by Cristobal Balenciaga and later Hubert de Givenchy. She was the epitome of understudied elegance and sophistication and very old school, in the best possible way.
Items from homes in Virginia Hunt Country, the Cape, Nantucket, Antigua and others, were expertly grouped and photographed enticing bidders from 43 countries and ending up selling many, many millions of dollars. Known for her expert eye and as an arbiter of great taste, her auction was primed to be a success, but one item went way off the charts, a blue pear shaped diamond which sold for over $32.6 million Other rare items include Tiffany & Co. branded Rolex watches, china, stirrup cups, furniture, jewelry, snuff boxes, tea stoves and an actual hitching post. The catalog has been ordered for my library and can't wait to see it in person. The auction ended on Sunday.
Bunny was a self taught Horticulturist. She famously was asked by the Kennedys to re-do the White House Rose Garden. She did several other White House gardens and later kept up the work for the Johnsons.
Art from this sale exceeded $158.7 million.
The proceeds from this miraculous sale will benefit a foundation in her Father's name. A link to the catalog is here.
Thrilled to get a glimpse of Bunny's life..