A DARING SAPPHIRE, DIAMOND, RUBY AND GOLD BIRD BROOCH
Designed as a pavé-set diamond and calibré-cut sapphire bird of paradise, its head enhanced by calibré-cut rubies, extending polished and matte-finished gold elongated twin tail feathers set with cabochon sapphires, single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut citrines, mounted in platinum and gold, with French hallmarks (one small diamond missing), circa 1948
Platinum is elegant and beautiful but, after a while, fashion trends oscillate between white and yellow to maintain a flow of change in jewelry design. During the 1930s, diamonds set into platinum were the rage, only to be replaced in the 40s with gold. And, this time, gold returned with a vengeance. Jewelry became bigger, bolder and set with large colored gemstones. This was jewelry to be noticed.
Designers both in Europe and the United States created jewelry to accessorize the fashionable wide-shouldered dress or suit, affording ample space for brooches...the bigger, the better. The avian world provided both beauty and luxuriant plumage for the artist's imagination. The illustrated brooch replicates a paradise flycatcher with its crested head and long tail feathers. In this instance, the designer has taken artistic license by elongating the tail, an intentional anomaly to emphasize flowing movement as well as to provide a backdrop for the gemstones. The rounded shape of the cabochon sapphires counterbalances the linearity of the calibré-cut citrines.
This brooch is illustrated in Sylvie Raulet, "Jewelry of the 1940s and 1950s", New York, 1988, page 86.