DIAMOND RING BY SUZANNE BELPERRON, PARIS, CIRCA 1950

A ring designed with a central bezel-set cushion diamond sided by intersecting platinum planes set with square and rectangular diamonds; mounted in platinum, with French assay marks

  • 1 cushion-cut diamond, weighing approximately 2.95 carats
  • 12 square-cut diamonds, total weighing approximately 2.40 carats
  • 12 baguette-cut diamonds, total weighing approximately 0.90 carats
  • With maker’s mark for Groëné et Darde
  • Measurements: 1 x 1 x 5/8 inch

Additional cataloguing

Certification

Belperron Certificate of Authenticity B49505192015, dated May 19, 2015, by Edward J. Landrigan of Verdura stating that the platinum modèle facetté ring was made in Paris between 1946 and 1955 from a design by Suzanne Belperron.

 

Biography

Along with Chanel and Schiaparelli, Suzanne Belperron was one of the innovators of modern dress and jewelry. Belperron began her career in 1919 designing for René Boivin. Her 1933 partnership with Bernard Herz (and later his son Jean) allowed her to develop her bold, imaginative style mixing hardstones, such as chalcedony and rock crystal, with precious stones, such as diamonds and sapphires. The elegant beauty became a favorite jeweler to the fashionable elite including Diana Vreeland, Colette, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. Belperron retired in 1974 and continued consulting on jewelry designs until her death in 1983.

 

Significance

Suzanne Belperron was a leader in modern design who created some of the most innovative jewelry of the twentieth century. Her bold curvaceous jewels caught the attention of the fashionable elite including Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland, and the Duchess of Windsor. Unlike the renowned jewelers along rue de la Paix and la place Vendôme who drew in customers with glittering window displays, Belperron received her clientele only by appointment in her salon at 59, rue de Châteaudun. Her jewels spoke for themselves, and often she refused to sign her pieces stating, “My style is my signature.” The address was privately passed amongst the most fashionable women in Paris who were drawn to her original designs. Often featured in top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, her modern designs were sculptural forms that were uniquely Belperron.

This ring is a study in shadow and light. Called modèle facetté, or faceted model, the form of the ring itself is modeled on the facets of a gemstone. Even with the strong geometric planes, the form expresses the sensual curves Belperron favored in the rounded edges where the facets meet, and in the rounded bezel of the cushion-cut central diamond. The simple color palette of platinum and diamonds is given depth by the different stone cuts and their myriad reflections. Belperron carefully chose the stone placement on her jewels, working and reworking the arrangement in a wax model until everything was perfect and exactly how she pictured it for her client.

Treating each commission with great care, she found about her client’s lifestyle, examined their appearance, and took meticulous measurements like that of a tailor. As a result of her careful attention, each of Belperron’s jewels are unique, modern, and impeccably made. This stunning diamond ring is just as magnificent today as when it was made.