Arts & Culture

Rare Treasures: Opening a Southern Socialite’s Jewelry Box

Marjorie Merriweather Post, the famed General Foods Corporation heiress, businesswoman, and philanthropist, was known to drape herself from arms to ears in priceless jewels for balls at her Palm Beach, Florida, home, Mar-a-Lago. (You may have heard of it.) And she threw many a lavish soiree at her twenty-five-acre Hillwood estate in Washington, D.C., which remained her home base until her death in 1973. More than fifty pieces of Post’s jewelry collection, considered one of the planet’s finest, are now on display at Hillwood for the exhibition, Spectacular! Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection, which runs through the end of the year. It’s the first time Post’s assemblage will have its own exhibition—she donated many pieces to the Smithsonian to form the bedrock of its gem gallery. Here’s a look at some of the most stunning pieces.

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