RUBY, ROSE QUARTZ, AND ENAMEL “FLEUR” BROOCH BY SUZANNE BELPERRON, PARIS, CIRCA 1936

A brooch composed of a rose quartz flower head centering a cabochon ruby with black enamel and cabochon ruby pistils; mounted in grey and yellow gold with French assay marks;

  • Maker’s mark for Groené et Darde, box stamped B. Herz
  • Copy of original drawing
  • Measurements: 2 5/8 x 2 5/8 inches

Additional cataloguing

Certification

Belperron Certificate of Authenticity B54203232017 dated March 23, 2017, by Edward J. Landrigan of Verdura stating that the ruby, rose quartz, enamel, and gold “fleur” brooch was made in Paris circa 1936 by B. Herz from a design by Belperron.

 

Literature

Corbett, Patricia, et. al. Jewelry by Suzanne Belperron. London: Thames & Hudson, 2015, p. 127 (drawing).

Vreeland, Diana. “Why Don’t You . . .,“ Harper’s Bazaar, September 1936, p. 82.

 

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

In 1936, Diana Vreeland, came to New York and began her famed fashion magazine career at Harper’s Bazaar with a column called “Why Don’t You . . .” that ran until 1962 when she went to Vogue and became editor-in-chief. The column was popular and influential, and in September of 1936, Diana chose this pink quartz flower brooch by Belperron.  “Why don’t you . . . wear a marvelous cape of Jaeckel’s grey lemming fur and fasten it at the neck with a jeweled flower of pink quartz and rubies, like the one below?” Diana Vreeland was famously chic, and a supporter of Belperron. She was photographed at El Morocco nightclub in 1938 wearing her own Belperron bracelet, a geometric rock crystal cuff.

This wonderful brooch composed of five-pointed pink quartz petals, centering a cabochon ruby was created around the same time as the famous blue chalcedony flower brooch commissioned by Prince Edward for Wallis Simpson, later the Duchess of Windsor. Wallis was photographed wearing the brooch fastened at the neck, as Vreeland suggested, in a photograph by Cecil Beaton in 1937. This pink quartz flower is strongly graphic, with perfectly executed details, such as the central ruby set in yellow gold and the satellite rubies set in grey gold, giving them a cooler feel. The black enamel lines are abstractions of a flower pistil, handled in a strongly graphic way that plays off the soft pink mineral inclusions that give the quartz a rose color.

Suzanne Belperron is recognized as one of the most important and influential jewelry designers of all time, which makes her designs highly sought after. This particular piece, recommended by Diana Vreeland and with a similar piece made for the Duchess of Windsor, is particularly desirable, as well as beautiful and wearable. The Belperron Fleur brooch would be an important addition to any collection.

Ruby, Rose Quartz, and Enamel “Fleur” Brooch by Suzanne Belperron, Paris, circa 1936

The original design goauche for the rose quartz flower brooch.

Diana Vreeland at El Morocco nightclub in 1938 wearing Belperron jewelry.

The Fleur brooch featured in Diana Vreeland’s “Why Don’t You . . . “ in Harper’s Bazaar, September 1936.

Elegant and audacious, Suzanne Belperron established a new jewelry aesthetic proclaiming, “My style is my signature.”

The Duchess of Windsor wearing her Belperron flower brooch. Photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937.