A Lily-Bright Claudette Colbert in Trabert & Hoeffer

Claudette Colbert’s character in 1935’s The Gilded Lily looked like she was dripping in jewels. Yet Colbert wore only one necklace: Composed of interchangeable parts, it could be disassembled and worn in other scenes as a bracelet, a brooch, even a tiara. The jewel’s centerpiece—an 83 ct. ruby known as the Star of Burma—could double as an enormous cocktail ring.  The necklace was made by New York City jeweler Trabert & Hoeffer (the firm merged with Mauboussin in 1936), which was considered the Neil Lane of its day—a jeweler to the stars, says Yvonne Markowitz, author of The Jewels of Trabert & Hoeffer–Mauboussin: A History of American Style and Innovation. “THM became known for its multiuse jigsaw necklaces,” Markowitz says. “Colbert wears the necklace in various forms in various scenes. It created the illusion of a lot of jewels.”  The value

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