Suzanne Belperron (1900-1983) is arguably one of the most important jewelry designers of the 20th century. The upcoming Sotheby's auction in Geneva on May 14, 2012 will feature 50 lots from her personal jewelry collection.
This unprecedented sale features the most significant group of jewels by Belperron ever to appear on the market. This collection includes some of her most celebrated designs and also very intimate items which illustrate her unique style and creative virtuosity.
Belperron learned jewelry design at the House of René Boivin from 1921 to 1931, and when she left, she took not only her design experience, but some say, perhaps a few of Boivin's designs as well.
It is unclear whether Belperron stole Boivin designs or whether Boivin continued making Belperron’s designs after she left but one thing is clear - Belperron developed her own personal jewelry design style in the decades that followed, and built an international reputation that continues to grow.
When the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry was auctioned in 1987, only 5 of 16 Belperron pieces were tentatively identified. Asked once why she never signed her work, Madame Belperron replied: “My style is my signature.”
Here are some examples of Belperron's work from a recent Christie's auction. Sotheby's does not have the catalog for the upcoming auction yet, but I'm sure it will be on their site very soon.
Photos courtesy of Christie's Auctions