Diamond and Ruby “Bourrelets” Ring By Suzanne Belperron, Paris, 1943
A ring centering a bezel-set diamond sided by square ruby accents within reeded bands of gold, the outer band on each side set with diamonds; mounted in 18-karat yellow and white gold, with French assay marks
- 1 cushion-cut diamond, weighing 6.45 carats
- 12 square rubies
- 22 round diamonds
- Measurements: 1 5/16 x 1 x 7/8 inches
- Ring size: 9 1/4
Certificate of Authenticity No. 182030 Belp/Dkv/Ag dated October 30, 2018, from Olivier Baroin stating the gold “Bourrelets” ring with diamonds and rubies was manufactured by Groene & Darde for Suzanne Belperron December 29, 1943.
cf. Raulet, Sylvie, and Olivier Baroin. Suzanne Belperron. New York: Antique Collector’s Club, 2011, p. 326 for a plaster cast of similar design.
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.
Few artists have had as much influence on twentieth-century jewelry design as Suzanne Belperron. 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 rounded forms that became the hallmark of her jewelry.
From creation to production, Belperron oversaw the details of each design, visiting the workshops daily to ensure her vision was fully realized. Her work explored bold rounded forms informed by her research into the motifs of Egypt, India, Africa, and the Far East. An article in Harper’s Bazaar on March 15, 1938, described Belperron as living surrounded by Chinese furniture and art, as well as books on ancient Assyrian jewelry. Contemporary photographs capture her dressed in an exotic silk kimono and in another wearing Paul Poiret’s silk turban. Her ability to synthesize exotic inspiration with her own fluid aesthetic resulted in some of the most dynamic jewels created in the twentieth century.
This sumptuous ring centers on a large diamond, accented by square rubies, sided by unusual oversized gold reeding that makes up the band. Belperron called the design “bourrelets,” referring to the sensuous “rolls” of gold that turn this ring into a wearable sculpture. Belperron loved to explore highly polished and softly rounded gold in her designs, but this ring is unusually bold and beautifully ornate making it an exceptional addition to any collection.