This clutch is a reproduction of the one given to Jacqueline Kennedy by
Charles de Gaulle. The purse is made of brass base plated with 24k
gold. The interior is lined with faux red velvet. It measures 7" x 2.5"
and comes in a faux red velvet bag for safe keeping. The chain, which
comes with the replica, may not have existed on the original.
Charles de Gaulle, President of France during the JFK administration,
was considered intimidating and difficult to deal with by many. Jackie,
however, had read about his actions during WWII and considered him a
hero. She was very excited to meet him during their first official trip
to Paris in June, 1961, and de Gaulle in turn became enchanted with the
first lady. He was surprised with her French speaking abilities, and
impressed with her in-depth knowledge of his nation's history and
policies. He found he had a deep affinity for her as a person and gave
her three personal gifts beyond the official state gifts.
The first and most expensive of these gifts was this Minaudiere purse.
The original was 18k gold plated with a red velour lining. It would be
used by Jackie for the rest of her life, to be carried at nearly every
White House event and during her travels - including when she attended a performance at the Kennedy center in 1972.
The purse was sold at Sotheby's auction in 1996 for almost $100,000 and
is on loan to the Kennedy Library.