The Collections Of Mrs. Mellon

November 17, 2014

By Tab Byrum

Rachel Lambert Mellon was born into great wealth, married great wealth and surrounded herself with beautiful things her whole life.  She was nicknamed Bunny by her mother and that moniker stuck with her throughout her life, and although she lived a life of privilege Bunny Mellon was not ostentatious or full of herself.


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Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon died earlier this year in March at the age of  103 leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy, horticulture and art.  Many of Mrs. Mellon’s possessions are going on the auction block this week at Sotheby’s, so today we are taking a look at the jewelry that is going up for auction as well as the antiques, linens and housewares from several different homes the Mellons owned around the world.  Join me for a glimpse into the world of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Enjoy!!!


Image courtesy of Sotheby’s


Bunny Mellon and her husband Paul gave back to their country and the world in many ways through their donations of large sums of money that either built or helped build major museums as well as donating literally thousands of works of art to the museums, they endowed research projects in horticulture and the arts at major universities in the U.S and in England.


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 Bunny Mellon was responsible for the design and implementation of what we now know as the White House Rose Garden and she also helped Jackie Kennedy in the restoration and redecoration of the White House in the early ’60’s.


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Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Mellon in Boston, August 1961.


 Bunny Mellon was known as an expert gardener and wrote books on the subject, turning her own private home, Oak Spring Farms, in Virginia into a show place. 


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Bunny Mellon and her family owned many homes around the world: New York City, Paris, Virginia and many wonderful items from those homes are going on the auction block this week.  Here are some interior images from her home, Oak Spring Farms,  in Virginia and a video from Sotheby’s highlighting her style and look, narrated by Designer Charlotte Moss.


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Hover over video and click to play.

Mrs. Mellon was a woman that could own most any piece of jewelry she wanted, but she was very selective.  She owned some beautiful and exquisite pieces, including a couple of rare, large blue diamonds.  Mrs. Mellon also collected jewelry from the designer Verdura over the years seen in the video from Sotheby’s below.


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A Cartier diamond necklace and diamond earrings, featuring 3 different colored stones.
Images courtesy of Sotheby’s. 

As you can see Bunny Mellon was an extraordinary woman who lived an amazing life and left behind a wonderful legacy.

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