On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.
The winter of 1939-40 was enjoyable for David Rockefeller, the lengthening shadow of war notwithstanding. When not working on his doctoral dissertation, he was pursuing an idyllic courtship with Peggy McGrath, whom he had first met at a debutante party on Long Island.
At Kykuit, the Rockefeller family’s house in Pocantico Hills, New York, David recalled how he and Peggy “listened to the player organ together or picnicked at some beautiful spot, where [they] would go on horseback,” and would take “long walks together through the woods, talking for hours on end.” Finally, in June 1940, David asked Peggy to marry him.
This ring, selected from Raymond Yard for the occasion, featured a rectangular, step-cut diamond weighing 5.63 carats. In 1959, Peggy’s engagement ring was returned to Mr. Yard to be reset, with epaulet and triangular-cut diamonds added on either side of the central diamond. For David Rockefeller, meanwhile, the ring continued to represent the pinnacle of enlightened thinking. “Asking Peggy to marry me was the best decision I ever made,” he wrote many years later.
THE COLLECTION OF PEGGY AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER
Post Lot Text
David Rockefeller purchased the present lot from Raymond Yard in 1940. The ring was presented to Peggy McGrath upon her engagement to David. In 1959 the ring was returned to Raymond Yard, where Mr. Yard altered the design, integrating additional diamonds on either side of the center diamond.