SUITE OF AMETHYST, YELLOW SAPPHIRE, AND CITRINE BROOCH, EAR CLIPS, AND RING BY SUZANNE BELPERRON, PARIS, 1951

A suite comprised of a foliate motif brooch, ring, and ear clips composed of cabochon amethysts and citrines, the ear clips also with yellow sapphires; mounted in 18-karat gold; in the original box

  • Brooch: 5 mixed-cut yellow sapphires and 7 cabochon amethysts
  • Ring: 1 cushion-cut yellow sapphire and 8 cabochon amethysts
  • Ear clips: 10 mixed-cut yellow sapphires and citrines, and 14 cabochon amethysts
  • All stamped Groené & Darde
  • Brooch: 1 13/16 x 1 11/16 x 3/8 inches, ring: 1 1/8 x 1 x 3/4 inches, Ear clips: 1 3/8 x 3/4 inches

Additional cataloguing

Certification

Certification from Olivier Baroin No. 180419a/b/c, dated April 19, 2018, stating the brooch was made in November 1951, the ear clips in October 1951, and the ring in June 1951 for Suzanne Belperron. Further stating “This unparalleled suite is the only example of a set of Belperron jewels made in the same year, for a prominent client, fitted together in an original Belperron pink-suede box. Everything about this suite is exceptional: the design, colors, condition, marks, and registration in the archives. The suite has remained in the hands of the same prominent French family since it was ordered in 1951. Until now it has never been made available.”

 

Literature

“La bague au doigt (The finger Ring),” Vogue Paris, December 1951, for a similar ring.

 

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

One of the most important and inventive twentieth-century jewelers, Suzanne Belperron was known for her bold curvaceous designs and strong sense of color. In the 1930s and 1940s members of the fashionable elite would pass her name and contact information to close friends. While she never advertised, her regular clients included royalty, international entertainers, top fashion designers, and fashion editors. A jewelry couturier, she designed jewels for those clients she granted an appointment to.

This magnificent suite was designed and made for a prominent French family. The ring was prepared first, in June, and presumably the client was so pleased with the result, the clips and brooch followed in October and November when Belperron would have prepared the fitted pink-suede box. This suite combines Belperron’s iconic motifs. She was often inspired by flora, and the flower forms in this suite vary subtly with a flower head for the ring, a spray for the brooch, and leaf-shapes for the ear clips. What unifies the seemingly different flower designs is the use of perfectly matched cabochon amethysts and contrasting yellow sapphires throughout the set. The pear-shaped and slightly curved amethysts evoke the Indian boteh (paisley) form, based on the Tree of Life, adding a hint of the exotic. The influence of the Art Deco era is seen in the strong geometry of the stone shapes, but Belperron added her own recognizable touch in the seemingly random placement of stones in the ear clips and spray. This is a masterful design move, as Belperron placed her stones with great care achieving balance and beauty in the composition.

Belperron had her choice of commissions, and, once accepted, she worked closely with the workshops to make sure her vision for each client was perfectly realized. Her unusual style is still sought after by the most fashionable and knowledgeable collectors.  Each piece of this suite is an iconic example of jewelry by Belperron, but together in the original box, they are an unparalleled set and would be a centerpiece of any great collection.

Suite of Amethyst, Yellow Sapphire, and Citrine Brooch, Ear Clips, and Ring by Suzanne Belperron, Paris, 1951

Suzanne Belperron wearing a Paul Poiret silk turban with jewelry of her own design.

This rare suite is fitted in the original pink-suede box by Belperron.