PROPERTY OF A LADY
Post Lot Text
One of the most creative American jewelers of the 20th century, Paul Flato’s art reflected his larger-than-life personality. Born in Flatonia, Texas on September 1, 1900, to a cattle ranching family, Flato moved to New York in the 1920s. He began selling wristwatches and by the 1930s had opened two jewelry shops, one in Los Angeles, and the other on 57th Street in New York City. Flato had a charismatic personality and a sharp eye for style. He became famous, not only for his charming personality, but for his whimsical designs in platinum, gold and precious gems. By the late 1930s, Flato had enlisted Fulco di Verdura, as his chief designer. Together, they created sophisticated and amusing designs which were sought after by the world’s most glamorous women of the day.
Given the voluminous nature of Flato’s designs, it is not surprising that his jewelry caught the attention of starlets from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. Faithful clients included Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Helen Hayes, Paulette Goddard, and Marlene Dietrich. Opening a store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1938, his jewelry became all the more accessible for this influential group, who wore pieces both on and off screen and led to him become one of the first jewelers credited in many feature films including Holiday, That Uncertain Feeling, and The Lady is Willing.