Sunday, 6 March 2011

BOUCHERON: The Joan Crawford aquamarine parure

This parure is a true collector's find!. It has everything a piece should have: great design in the purest early retro style (c. 1935), signed by master jeweller Boucheron (Verger Frères for Boucheron, retailed in the US by E.H. Tompkins), fantastic stones (extremely well matched aquamarines) and an interesting and well documented provenance.

The parure was one of the favourite pieces of jewellery owned by famous actress Joan Crawford. Born Lucille Fay LeSeuer in Texas on 1904, she started her career working as a dancer in Detroit until she made it into Hollywood in 1925. She had three failed marriages before she met her last husband, Alfred Steele, then president of Pepsi-Cola. After he died, she took a position in the board of the company and continued acting until 1970. She was also famous for her incredible jewellery collection, much of it was sold during the last years of her life and the remaining pieces (her favourite ones) were sold at an auction when she passed away in 1977. This parure was acquired by Andy Warhol and it was auctioned again as part of his "Collection of Jewelry and Watches" in 1988. The set is now for sale at London antique dealer Hancocks where I have had the chance to actually try it on!.