This exquisite sapphire and diamond feather brooch was designed by the jeweler Paul E. Flato. 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 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 Hollywood's leading ladies. Katherine Hepburn wore his designs in the film "Holiday" and Joan Crawford was bejeweled by Flato for movie premiers and parties.
Christie's sold a selection of his designs in the New York Important Jewels sale on 6 December 1994. The design for this brooch was featured in lot 59 and a copy of the image is shown here.
A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND FEATHER BROOCH, BY FLATO
Designed as a highly flexible and articulated calibré-cut sapphire feather, with a pavé-set diamond stem, mounted in platinum
Drawing sold Christie's New York, Important Jewels, 6 December 1994, lot 59, a selection of two hundred and eighty-two Flato designs