Monday, 24 September 2012

A great diamond "rosebud" brooch by VERDURA

This brooch is not one of the most expensive pieces of jewellery to be auctioned by Sotheby's from the Estate of Brooke Astor, however it is one of my favourites. It was made by Verdura in 1958 and it is set with 206 circular diamonds and 29 baguette cut. Both the craftsmanship and the design are exceptional.

Notes from Sotheby's catalogue

In 1934, after years of working as a textile and jewelry designer for Coco Chanel in Paris, Fulco di Verdura took the advice of Diana Vreeland, the fashion journalist and later Vogue editor, and immigrated to the United States to work under the tutelage of jewelry designer Paul Flato. As Vreeland suspected, this would become an auspicious partnership. Flato's jewelry was sculptural and whimsical, which was perfectly aligned with Verdura's own design aesthetic. While working for Flato, Verdura made a name for himself by creating jewels that were striking and contemporary yet playful. His designs garnered such attention that he was able to open his own Fifth Avenue salon in 1939 with the financial backing of Cole Porter and Vincent Astor.
Once Verdura opened his own salon, he created jewelry for many members of New York's social elite. Given Vincent Astor's role as one of Fulco di Verdura's patrons, it comes as no surprise that Mrs. Astor's collection is filled with jeweled delights from the designer. The naturalism of the 'rosebud' brooch and 'leaf and flower' bracelet recall his days with Flato, while the streamlined mix-and-match 'ribbon' bracelets show his playful side. In 1940 Vogue proclaimed that "any jewel that Verdura touches becomes a more interesting jewel;" the jewelry in Mrs. Astor's collection exemplifies this statement as the beauty of each piece is enhanced by its uniqueness.