This a classic Verdura design, the Ray Brooch, from the 1950's. In fact the most popular version (the Knot) of it is displayed in CFJ Gallery by Hancocks. The one above is set with a magnificent cabochon emerald which makes it a unique piece for Verdura; he did not fancy using expensive stones as he wanted his pieces to stand out for their design, in the occasions when he did use very fine gemstones, the work was probably a custom made commission.
The brooch will be auctioned at Christie's King Street on December 12th. After New York and Bonhams London last week, this coming one we have two very special sales in London, Besides Christie's South Kensington on monday, Sotheby's on tuesday and Christie's King Street on wednesday with a huge selection of magnificent pieces!. And tomorrow morning... private view over brunch, could it be better?.
Fulco Verdura was born in 1898 in Palermo. At the age of 21, he inherited his family fortune and spent it over six years enjoying life at the centre of Europe's high society. In 1926 he went to Paris to work for Coco Chanel as a textile designer and almost immediately after he joined he redesigned all her personal jewellery, which was a great collection of gifts by her lovers, the Duke of Westminster and the Russian Grand Duke Dmitri amongst others. So Verdura became Chanel's head Jewellery designer for a number of years until he decided to move to New York and start his own business. He opened his own business in a very personal way; he only designed and manufactured pieces for the people he liked. He focused on design rather than on showing expensive stones, yet his pieces are always exuberant. Today one can still have the experience of exclusivity in the personal way that he lived and sold his creations by visiting a recreation of his apartment in the 12th floor of a magnificent New York skyscraper at 745, 5th Avenue.