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Saturday, 26 February 2011

PAUL FLATO: "The glittering life of a jeweller"


This is the story of a piece as well as of a great jeweller. First comes the book, Paul Flato Jeweler to the Stars by Elizabeth Irvine, just published in October 2010 and which has set the limelight again over the accomplished celebrity jewellery designer from the 1940's. Then comes the piece that is in the cover of the book; it is the aquamarine and ruby belt necklace designed by Paul Flato for Mrs. Cole Porter who gave it to Ava Astaire. Years later, the necklace was acquired directly from her by London Antique dealer McKenna & Co who sold it in 1995 to a New York collector. The piece reappeared in public in several exhibitions including in 2008 at the reopening of Fred Leighton's Beverly Hill branch. If the necklace looks kitsch today, it must have been shocking in 1937!.