Friday, October 17, 2008


Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura (1898-1978) was a Sicilian aristocrat who became known as simply "Verdura". He start out by working with Coco Chanel as her textile designer but inspired by Byzantine jewellery, he created the multi-gemmed and asymmetrically patterned Maltese Cross brooches mounting them on the hinged cuff bracelets which she wore often.
She loved these so much she constantly reinterpreted the design. The cuffs above belonged to her.
The Duchess of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Barbara Hutton and Doris Duke all collected his elegant jewellery.

He had a talent for creating innovative designs such as his signature piece, the Wrapped Heart brooch/pendent seen above in Jadeite.
In the top photograph the Wrapped Heart is made of 62 cabochon rubies and 232 round diamonds set in 18K gold and platinum.
The design was originally created in 1941 as a Valentine's Day gift for the wife of one of Verdura's clients. The husband said, "I want to give her my heart - make something fantastic" and a classic was born.
If you'd like to see more of his creations go to the Verdura Gallery of the 2007 Exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The Exhibit has another wrapped heart of golden sapphires which is beautiful.


JahTeh said...

Sorry the link refuses to work and you end up at luxist but type in Verdura in the search box there.

River said...

I don't like any of those pieces. Perhaps I'm just not cultured enough.

JahTeh said...

River, it was jewellery for the times when the wealthy women wore their money. It's a bit like the plastic jewellery of the 1960s, it wouldn't go with any of today's clothes.

I've posted the golden sapphire Wrapped Heart as this is one jewell of his I really like. I can see mine in shades of amethyst (purple) to tanzanite (violet blue).

JahTeh said...

I deny I was pissed when posting and I'm not going back to correct the mistakes in spelling and grammer/grammar.

That's So Pants said...

Kelsy Grammer went
to grammar school,
His Grandma paid the fees.
It all went well, and he learned to spell.
So pass the hammer please.

back on topic:
oh god - what a man ... who would say and pay for, "I want to give her my heart - make something fantastic"; never mind Verdura, it's Mr Valentine who's the star.
(the wrapped rubies are absolutely totally sexy though)

oh it's ann oDyne here, not Pants who is however,logged into Blogger.

Jayne said...

Very nice pieces, he was a master craftsman.

JahTeh said...

Annie O, a man in a million and probably had the millions to make his wife happy. I still want the heart in delicate purple to violet to mauve. I can see it now. Want it.

Jayne, always look in op shops for old fake jewells. A lot were copies of this expensive stuff.

Sumyee said...

Do they still sell that today?