Salvador Dali, the Spanish painter, began to venture into jewelry design around 1938. Known for his surrealist paintings depicting melting clocks and mythological subjects featuring his wife, Gala, Dali was infamous for his eccentric behavior and iconic curled mustache. Like other visual artists of the time, such as Georges Braque and Alexander Calder, Dali ventured into jewelry to further express his artistic talents. He drew special blue prints and worked directly with a jewelry manufacturer, namely Alemany and Ertman, in New York City. Dalí hand-picked the stones, not only for color and quality, but also for the feelings the stones would evoke. The themes in his jewels were similar to his paintings: religion, mythology, nature and surrealist "Dalinian" symbolism. He made gold telephone ear clips, a brooch designed as a pair of ruby lips with pearl teeth and an enormous "Etoile de Mer" brooch to be worn over the breast. Dalí attracted an artistic audience of jewelry connossiers including the ballet patron, Rebekah Harkness and the model, Mafalda Davis. In the 1940s, Dalí collaborated with Fulco di Verdura. These special jewels were featured in Harper's Bazaar Magazine and later exhibited with his paintings at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. In 1954, twenty-two pieces of jewelry were purchased by the Owen Cheatham Foundation and toured internationally for fund raising events. This rare and important peridot suite was made from Dalí's designs for Mrs. Owen Cheatham personally.
Property of an American Collector