In 1919 Suzanne Belperron began her lifelong journey at the vanguard of modern art and design. Her pioneering work in the Art Deco style evolved into the colourful compositions and pure, sensual forms that became her unmistakable trademarks. In the pantheon of 20th century master jewelers, Madame Belperron stands apart as the only woman.
A splendid array of Belperron’s work is illustrated in this book, from her earliest designs as a student in her native city of Besançon to her groundbreaking creations for the Maison Boivin and Maison B. Herz in the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in the iconic jewels she designed after World War II. Also included are the original designs she created for clients ranging from intellectuals to actors, artists to royalty. Jean Cocteau, Colette, Mrs. Gary Cooper, Doris Duke, Mona von Bismarck, Lauren Bacall, Daisy Fellowes, Clark Gable, Dorothy Paley Hirshon, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were among her loyal patrons and friends. Current admirers include Catherine Deneuve, Daphne Guinness, and Karl Lagerfeld, who has written a personal foreword to this book. A selection of over 9,200 gouache paintings and tracings from the Belperron archive of designs (nearly all unpublished) are shown with an impressive catalogue of finished jewels. The book follows Belperron’s extraordinary life and career and, with many specially commissioned photographs of jewelry from private collections, it presents a portfolio of some of the rarest and most important examples of Suzanne Belperron’s work.
Based on private letters, photographs and personal documents from the Herz and Belperron families, as well as those of her expert craftsmen, this is a view into the personal life of a remarkable woman whose influence endures to this day.
Part I: 1. A New Age • 2. La Maison Brown • 3. Messieurs Herz, Daros and Louart • 4. Le Grand Départ • 5. A New Partnership • 6. Legacy • Part II: ‘My Style is My Signature’
About the Author
Patricia Corbett is an art historian and curator. She was the European editor of Connoisseur and her articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The Condé Nast Traveller and The New York Times. She is the author of Verdura, also published by Thames & Hudson.
Ward Landrigan was previously head of the jewelry division at Sotheby’s, before assuming his present role as Chairman of Verdura. His son, Nico, who joined Verdura in 2003, is responsible for the relaunch of Belperron in 2015.