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Posts Tagged Verdura

Verdura’s Theodora Cuff Bracelet, Now at Betteridge

by on October 28th, 2014

verdura-coco-chanelLegendary jeweler Verdura celebrates its 75 years of style with the introduction of the rare, limited edition “Theodora” cuff. The “Theodora” motif on the cuff marks the beginning of Verdura’s career as a jewelry designer and his earliest collaboration with Coco Chanel. In 1930, Verdura, with Chanel as his muse, shattered the status quo in 20th century jewelry design. The revolution they began broke from the proliferation of platinum and diamond jewelry whose popularity was verging on monotony.

Inspired by the Byzantine mosaic of Empress Theodora at the Italian Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Verdura and Chanel set out to break the rules of popular style. For the first time in the 20th Century, gemstones were pressed into yellow gold in such splendid contradiction to one another: the primary colors of precious rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds were electrified into new life beside the vivid half-hues of semi-precious amethysts, peridots and tourmalines. It was an iconoclast departure. At the time, British Vogue observed the “unusual results and a number of colour harmonies hitherto unknown to jewellery.”

The first foray into this new realm of color was a pair of Byzantine-inspired brooches in loosely cruciform patterns, called the Theodora and Ravenna brooches. These two brooches became harbingers of change, precursors to the full exploration of twentieth century Byzantine style. They were the inspiration for the iconic Maltese Cross cuffs created by the Duke of Verdura for his friend Coco Chanel in the early 1930’s. These brooches were eventually given to Diana Vreeland, a friend and client of Chanel. She further popularized them by wearing them in unusual ways, notably on her turbans and hats. These were a signature of Ms. Vreeland throughout her life.


Turquoise is the New Black

by on July 31st, 2010

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra Necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra Necklace

Is there any stone more perfectly suited to the idyllic carefree nature of the summer season than turquoise?

Turquoise has always seemed to me to be the most cheerful, fun, and whimsical gemstone around. These brightly colored, yet unassuming beauties are the pure embodiment of summer. There is something about wearing a gorgeous turquoise piece that just seems to lighten the spirits and brighten up a room.

Whether you happen to be an effortlessly cool trendsetter, (think Verdura’s diamond-studded “Polka Dot” ring, $8,500), carefree and fun-loving, (think Van Cleef & Arpels’ Vintage Alhambra necklace), a bit edgy, (think Yossi Harari’s “Libra” turquoise beaded wrap necklace, $2,285), or truly glamorous, (think Paul Morelli’s “Oval Window” cabochon turquoise & pavé-set diamond cocktail ring, $10,760), a bit of turquoise is the perfect way to break out of your jewelry “rut” and embrace the color of the season!

Whatever your personal style, there is a turquoise piece for you.

Verdura Mammoth Hoop Earrings: Who Knew a Prehistoric Fossil Could Look So Hip?

by on March 1st, 2010

Verdura Mammoth Ivory Hoop Earrings, $3,500

These playful mammoth ivory hoops with bold gold stud detailing are at once graceful and sinuous in their delicate curvature and smooth polish, and yet also raw, edgy. A mix of contrasting elements, these beauties can be worn equally well with a pair of jeans during the day, or a little black dress at night.

Verdura’s glamorous design aesthetic is never compromised in this thoroughly modern take on the ever-hip hoop earring. Who else but Verdura could turn a pre-historic fossil into a wearable (and affordable!) piece of art?

Verdura Polka Dot Rings: Mod Rings for Fashionistas

by on December 1st, 2009

Verdura Polka Dot Rings, from $6,500

Reminiscent of 1960’s mod fashion, the Verdura Polka Dot Rings are playful and eye-catching.

Extraordinarily crafted in a wide variety of colors, these rings are not to be missed.

Verdura 5-Stone Cuffs: Our Favorite New Jewelry Collection

by on November 1st, 2009

Verdura 5-Stone Cuffs, from $28,000

Fabulous and chic! You don’t have to own a lot of jewelry, just a few timeless pieces (such as these cuffs, which are based on a design that was originally commissioned by Coco Chanel!).

For me, Verdura cuffs are a style essential.

Verdura, Coco Chanel and the Iconic Maltese Cross Cuff Bracelet

by on August 1st, 2009

Fulco di Verdura & Coco Chanel

Born in Sicily in 1898, Duke Fulco di Verdura is without question one of the most important jewelry designers of the 20th century.

Characterized by large, boldly colored gemstones, and with a taste for gold settings and natural forms- such as animals, seashells and flowers- Verdura’s designs first manifested themselves in brilliant watercolors. Only later, were these sketches transformed into magnificent bespoke jewelry.

Verdura’s designs never conformed to the trends of the time: diamond jewelry, usually set in platinum. He boldly created his own designs, which have influenced generations of jewelers ever since.

Verdura 5-Stone Cuff Bracelets, from $28,000

Verdura 5-Stone Cuff Bracelets, from $28,000

It was this non-conformism that first impressed Coco Chanel, who was introduced to him in Venice in 1925. Chanel, already at the height of her fame, recruited Verdura on the spot, commissioning him to create her boutique jewelry line and to redesign many of the important pieces in her own jewelry collection.

In 1934, a year after opening a workshop in New York City, Verdura crafted a cuff bracelet that was built around a Maltese Cross given to Chanel by Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia. The Maltese Cross became one of Verdura’s most celebrated motifs and helped to propel Verdura into the spotlight. By the late 1930s, Hollywood starlets, including Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo, as well as aristocrats, such as the Duchess of Windsor and Countess Mona Von Bismarck, amongst many others were clamoring for his jewelry.

Today, Ward Landrigan, the CEO of Verdura, has updated the Maltese Cross cuff with a more modern and comfortable design. Betteridge just received the first of the newly designed cuffs to leave Verdura’s New York workshop in citrine, black jade and gold, as well as citrine, cocobola wood and gold. The cuffs are a spectacular tribute to Duke Fulco di Verdura’s impressive career.