The following bracelet and ear clips, both designed by Fulco di Verdura for Chanel, are incredible survivors of one of the most important collaborations between a fashion and jewelry designer. Fulco di Verdura, born in Palermo, Italy to an aristocratic family, grew up among the glamour of European society. Introduced to Coco Chanel by Linda and Cole Porter in the mid-1920s, Chanel soon hired Verdura as a textile designer in 1927. Quickly recognizing his passion and talent for designing jewelry, Chanel had Verdura remount stones and pieces from her collection which were gifted to her over the years by her various lovers. Always one to believe that jewelry was about enhancing a woman’s personal style rather than displaying wealth, Chanel’s personal jewelry collection by the early 1930s was a-one-of-a-kind treasure trove filled with color and whimsy. Often cited as bringing fashion jewelry into vogue, Chanel owned pieces which were a mixture of fashion and fine jewelry. She often had precious rubies, emeralds and sapphires remounted in gilt metal or silver and wore them freely with strands of both natural and faux pearls; the entire look was more important than the value of the individual components in a jewel. The jewelry that Chanel was most often associated with throughout her lifetime were the pieces created for her by Verdura, particularly her enamel cuffs and bangle bracelets in both black and ivory colored versions. The mixture of classic ivory-colored enamel with poured and faceted gripoix glass mounted in silver is a rare but iconic example of Chanel’s bold and unapologetic style of merging fine and fashion gem elements to create a one-of-a-kind jewel. The current bangle is a wonderful example of a jewel Chanel wore often and proudly.
A SILVER, ENAMEL, AND SIMULATED GEMSTONE BRACELET, BY DUKE FULCO DI VERDURA
The cream colored enamel hinged bangle set at the top with cabochon red and green simulated gemstones, accented on either side by a line of graduated calibré-cut green simulated gemstones, to the rectangular-cut blue simulated gemstones, circa 1935, 2 1/8 ins. diameter, mounted in silver
Accompanied by a letter from Verdura confirming that in their opinion, the cuff bracelet was made from a design by Duke Fulco di Verdura for his friend Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel
Formerly from the Collection of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel