Rarely seen and never photographed, the Listerine heiress, widow of billionaire art collector Paul Mellon, Mrs. Mellon, who is now in her 90s, is famously reclusive and famous for her love of the decorative arts, maintaining homes in Virginia, New York, and Osterville that are fully staffed at all times so that she may arrive (via her private jet) on a moment’s notice with everything prepared for her. A stickler for getting things the way she wants, she once built a large swimming pool on her Osterville estate only to decide when it was finished that the deep end was on the wrong side. The pool was dug up and completely reconstructed to her specifications. A great and loyal friend to Jackie Onassis she was (privately) famous for her extravagant gifts to the former First Lady. When Jackie took up watercolor painting, Mrs. Mellon gifted her with a metal paintbox which held, in place of the brush, two gold earring loops and in the place of each color there were two precious stones with hooks for the earring loops — sapphires (for blue), rubies (for red), emeralds (for green), diamonds (for yellow), etc. A number of years ago Mrs. Mellon built a beautiful mansion with courtyard in the East 70s and is actively involved in maintaining its perfect interior design with a full-time personal interior decorator to assist her.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007