Rosalind P. Walter: the Original 'Rosie the Riveter'

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle is honored to present at auction the exceptional and extensive jewelry collection assembled by Rosalind P. Walter (1924-2020), the original “Rosie the Riveter” and a generous benefactor of PBS.

Raised in a refined family with homes on Long Island and Fairfield, Connecticut, the former Rosalind Palmer joined millions of women in supporting the war effort by entering the workforce during World War II. Known by friends as Roz, she worked the night shift as a riveter at the Vought Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut. Society chronicler Igor Cassini wrote about her in his popular “Cholly Knickerbocker” column, which in turn inspired the hit 1942 song, Rosie the Riveter. Written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb and popularized by the Four Vagabonds, Rosie the Riveter documented the home-front campaign that laid the groundwork for the women’s rights movement of the late 20th century. The song cemented her name in history, while other women went on to model for the well-known depictions of Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell and J. Howard Miller.

Ms. Walter was not finished inspiring the next generation after the war. In later years, she devoted herself to philanthropy with a focus on public broadcasting. She was one of PBS’s principal benefactors, supporting programming like Great Performances, American Masters and PBS NewsHour. She also became the largest individual supporter of WNET New York, helping underwrite 67 shows or series over forty years.

Her wartime efforts laid the groundwork for Ms. Walter’s lifelong commitment to public media and education. Having sacrificed the opportunity to attend college to serve her country, she found public television documentaries helped fill in the gaps of her education. Ms. Walter and her second husband, Henry Glendon Walter Jr., were benefactors of the American Museum of Natural History, the Pierpont Morgan Library and Long Island University, among others.

Ms. Walter’s jewelry collection includes quintessential designs by such storied makers as Van Cleef &  Arpels, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Buccellati, Graff and David Webb. Much like the woman herself, these pieces are iconic, timeless and classic.

Important Jewelry

The auction of Important Jewelry on October 1, 2020 will offer 71 lots of exceptional jewelry from the Rosalind P. Walter Collection.

View Lots & Place Bids

Additional jewelry from the Rosalind P. Walter Collection will be featured in the October 20 Jewelry Online auction and the October 21 Fine Jewelry auction.


Portrait of specialist Ann Limer  Lange
SVP/Executive Director, Jewelry
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Portrait of specialist Martha Garcia
Vice President / Appraiser, Jewelry Department
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