Gold and Diamond Suite
designed by George Headley, Los Angeles
Necklace, Paul Flato (1939-41)
Bracelet , Sol Laykin (1939-45)
Comprising a necklace, designed as a flexible line of stylized vines, graduating, the gracefully arched and curled pave-set diamond leaves mounted in platinum, with contrasting yello gold veins, juxtaposed a bust of blooming yellow gold petal flowers accented with circular-cut diamond pistils, asymmetrically enhanced with a pavé-set ribbon bowknot, mounted in 18k
yellow gold and platinum
Necklace : 602 diamonds, total weighing 30.10 cts
Bracelet : 283 diamonds, total weighing 14.15 cts
In the 1930s and early 40's Paul Flato's jewellery establishments in New York and Beverly Hills became a gathering place for socialites and stage and screen stars. Flato created masterful designs that appealed to the luminaries who frequented his salons, including Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Merle Oberon, Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn and Gary Cooper. When the Beverly Hills location opened at 8657 Sunset Boulevard in 1937, this prestigious salon was the fashionable place to shop for fine jewellery and it would have been natural for Norma Shearer to got here to select a special piece. And she did. She chose the ivy necklace which had been featured in an editorial in Vogue in 1941.
This suite of ivy leaves and flowers is a flamboyant, yet sensuous example of the period's interest in botanical motifs, especially climbing plants that seemed to twist and turn naturally around the neck and wrist of the wearer. It develops from a vine whose gold stem begins its climb at the diamond-set bow, encircled the neck and then continues as an articulated section down the front of the bodice or, for effect, can be worn slightly off to the left. When worn, it actually moves like a natural vine.