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PAIR OF GOLD AND CITRINE PINEAPPLE CLIP BROOCHES BY SUZANNE BELPERRON, PARIS, 1942

A pair of dress clips designed as stylized pineapples set with step-cut citrines held in place by polished gold pyramid-capped prongs and crowned by polished gold sprigs; mounted in 18-karat yellow gold

  • 24 step-cut citrines
  • Photograph of original mold
  • Measurements: 1 3/16 x 2 inches

Additional cataloguing

Certification

Olivier Baroin Certificate of Authenticity no. Bel/Vil/Ch 270242-221, dated June 20, 2012, stating that the citrine pineapple clips are Suzanne Belperron, February 1942.

Gabardi, Melissa. Jean Després: Jeweler, Maker and Designer of the Machine Age. London: Thames & Hudson, 2009, p. 60.

 

Literature

Raulet, Sylvie, and Olivier Baroin. Suzanne Belperron. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2011, p 318, no. 11, photograph of original mold.

 

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

Very few artists have had as much influence on twentieth-century jewelry design as Suzanne Belperron. Her talent was recognized early in her career while working for Maison Boivin in Paris throughout the 1920s. Refusing to be limited by the constraints of the prevailing Art Deco style, she broke away from the flat, geometric shapes that dominated contemporary jewelry design and opted instead for the sensual, curvilinear forms that were to become a hallmark of her personal style.

Belperron had an unerring instinct for choosing stones and textures. She mixed precious and semi-precious as well as faceted and cabochon stones together with an artist’s eye and little regard for commercial value. Quartz was a favorite mineral and she used it often, both in transparent and opaque varieties. A particular favorite was citrine quartz, whether in hues of palest yellow or deep orangey-brown. The warmth and appeal of citrine is utilized to full advantage in these pineapple dress clips. Made in the early 1940s, they are perfect examples of the new naturalistic style that crept into jewelry design from the mid 1930s as a replacement for the lines and planes of Art Deco.

It is no surprise that, during her lifetime, Belperron’s clients included artists and couturiers as well as jewelry connoisseurs. Her creations were perfectly in sync with fashions of the time, and were often illustrated in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar along with the latest styles by Dior, Mainbocher, or Schiaparelli. These jewels are every bit as stylish, and just as desirable, today as when they were first created.

Suzanne Belperron's plaster cast of the pineapple clips. Courtesy Olivier Baroin Archive.