LOS ANGELES – The Personal Collection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg online sale concluded at Bonhams on Friday, September 16 in spectacular fashion, with a flurry of activity extending bidding well past the planned closing time. The auction, the final from the collection of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, achieved white glove status with all lots selling well above their estimates and achieving $516,090 overall. Proceeds from the auction will form the basis of the RBG Endowment Fund, a charitable fund established by SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest organization dedicated to caring for children without parental care or who are at risk of losing it.
The top lot of the sale was one of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s iconic judicial collars, gilt glass beads in a woven design, which achieved more than 58 times its estimate when it sold for $176,775. During her trailblazing 27-year service on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg chose to style her judicial robes with bold collars, and this was a rare opportunity to own a part of her signature look as many of the others were donated to major museums.
Other signature accessories that realized exceptional results were two pairs of Justice Ginsburg’s lace gloves, with the cream pair selling for $12,750 and the black pair, similar to the ones worn in her iconic portrait for Time’s 2015 list of the 100 Most Influential People, reached $16,575.
Also highlighting the sale was a wooden gavel from Justice Ginsburg’s chambers, most recently used at a 2nd Circuit Court conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, which sold for $20,400.
Additional highlights include:
A Votes for Women seven-piece tea service, a reproduction honoring the suffragette tea party at Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island in 1914 and given to her by her clerks, sold for $10,837, a sum equivalent to 36 times its estimate.
A framed Dissent silhouette poster, sent to Justice Ginsburg by fans and which she hung proudly in her chambers, sold for $16,575, or 11 times its estimate.
In 2019, Justice Ginsburg donated a portion of her Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture to SOS Children’s Villages USA. Following her death, personal items were donated to SOS Children’s Villages by the Ginsburg family to seed the RBG Endowment Fund, which will be governed by a dedicated committee comprised of SOS Children’s Villages USA leadership, members of Justice Ginsburg’s family and others as invited.
Each year, 5.5% of the RBG Endowment Fund will be directed to one or more specific programs in the SOS Children’s Villages portfolio. Non-political and non-sectarian, SOS Children’s Villages’ holistic programs are designed to ensure sustained impact and focus on children and their families across all aspects of life, as well as strengthening the communities in which they live.