ROCK CRYSTAL AND DIAMOND RING BY SUZANNE BELPERRON, PARIS, CIRCA 1940
A ring of faceted polished rock crystal set with a round-cut diamond; mounted in platinum
- 1 round-cut diamond, weighing approximately 3 carats
- Measurements: 1 1/8 × 1 × 1 inches
- Olivier Baroin Certificate of Authenticity no. 110211 Jaz/Blp, dated February 11, 2011, stating that the rock crystal and diamond ring is by Suzanne Belperron.
- Raulet, Sylvie, and Olivier Baroin. Suzanne Belperron. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2011, p. 27.
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.
Creating some of the most innovative jewelry of the twentieth century, Suzanne Belperron was a leader in modern design. 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 manipulated carved hardstone into fluid sculptural forms that were uniquely Belperron.
For this ring, Belperron used a simple color palette of diamond and rock crystal, a favorite combination. She particularly loved rock crystal using it either frosted or polished. The body of the ring is composed of a faceted block of rock crystal set in the center with a round diamond edged in platinum. The dynamic contrast between the angular facets of the round diamond provides depth to a monochromatic color combination. Belperron cleverly suspended the stone like an ice cube floating in water. She worked closely with the expert stonecutter and jeweler Adrien Louart who helped her designs come to fruition.
Belperron worked as a both a painter and sculptor, paying attention to the color palette as well and the lines and shapes of her designs. Her pieces were innovative and unique, and she inspired many designers. By the time of her death in 1983, her jewelry had fallen into relative obscurity, but the unusual designs were once again celebrated at the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry sale in 1987. Today her jewelry is highly sought after and her designs are forever stylish and daring. This ring is a timeless example of Suzanne Belperron’s fierce creativity.
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