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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Christie’s To Offer Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank Watch

December, 22, 1969: Jackie Onassis (1929 - 1994) pictured with her Cartier Tank watch. Photo by David Cairns/Express/Getty Images

One of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s most cherished items during her years as first lady and long after will be placed on auction next month.

Kennedy Onassis’s Cartier Tank watch is one of the high-profile items to appear at Christie’s New York Rare Watches and American Icons New York sale on June 21. Its estimate is $60,000 - $120,000.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's Cartier Tank watch

It was a watch worn by the former first lady for decades and can be seen on her wrist in many photos, Christie’s said. It was given to her as a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963. On the caseback is the engraving: "Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The times refer to the start and stop times of the 50-Mile Hike in Palm Beach in 1963.

The watch will be accompanied by an original painting that Kennedy Onassis made in 1963 as a gift for Stas Radziwill, celebrating the hike with the dedication “February 23, 1963, 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration.”

The engraved caseback of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank

The 50-mile hike became a short-lived fad in early 1963 after President Kennedy publicly asked the American people to accept the mentally and physically grueling challenge of walking this long distance, the auction house said. His inner circle of family and friends were some of the first to attempt the hike including his friends, Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding, featured in the painting.

This watch and the accompanying painting, previously unknown to the public, are two important historic artifacts to surface in recent years from the golden era of the Kennedy Presidency, Christie’s said.

The watch will be accompanied by an original painting that Kennedy Onassis made in 1963 as a gift for Stas Radziwill

“These two objects capture the spirit of another era, a time where friendship and the ‘can-do’ optimism of the generation seemed to make anything possible,” said John Reardon, international head of Christie’s Watches.

The owner of the watch and painting, who has requested anonymity, offered to donate a portion of the proceeds to the National Endowment for the Arts.

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