Sep 20, 2023 - News

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's iconic collar is up for auction in Virginia

A 2018 photo of the Supreme Court Justices that highlights Ruth Bader Ginsburg's necklace

The 2018 Supreme Court Justice portrait. Photo courtesy of The Potomack Company

The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous Supreme Court "Pegasus" collar is up for auction in Alexandria.

Why it matters: The fierce silver collar was RBG's chosen statement piece for a rare Supreme Court justice portrait in 2018 — her first day back on the job after recovering from a fall and fractured ribs.

What they're saying: "The collar sent the unspoken — but very clear — message that the justice was back in action and ready for duty," notes boutique Old Town auction house The Potomack Company.

Of note: Portraits are commissioned when new justices join the court (in this case, Brett Kavanaugh).

The Pegasus collar, a metallic feathered necklace
The Pegasus. Photo courtesy of The Potomack Company

What's happening: The limited-edition Stella & Dot statement piece, hand-made of metallic feathers sewn into a silk organza cascade, is up for auction until 10am on Thursday.

  • The collar is slated to fetch between $200K and $400K (current highest wager: $190K). Potomack Auction will donate some of the proceeds to the American Bar Association's Ginsburg fund.
  • Being simultaneously auctioned: a lace fragment from Martha Washington, which is "evocative of the lacy jabots worn more than 200 years later" by the Supreme Court's female justices (current bid: $2,250).

The intrigue: If the bids seem low, just wait until the countdown clock starts. "People wait until the last hour or so to hide their interest in something; they don't want to give it away," a Potomack rep tells Axios.

Flashback: A gold collar of Ginsburg's fetched $176,775 in a charity auction last year.

Zoom in: The Pegasus was a gift to Ginsburg from a fan, according to Town & Country — a fellow female lawyer and ACLU alum who was inspired to send it after seeing the "RBG" documentary.

What we're watching: RBG's necklaces, including The Pegasus, are the subject of a forthcoming book, "The Collars of RBG: A Portrait of Justice," available next month.


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