Suzanne Belperron’s 1950s Brooch

In the rarefied world of haute joaillerie, the name Suzanne Belperron represents the ne plus ultra of collecting. From her shop in Paris’ ninth arrondissement, the designer created some of the 20th century’s most memorable jewels for the likes of Grace Kelly, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, and the Duchess of Windsor. At first glance, this platinum and white gold diamond brooch—which sold for $365,705 at Christie’s Dec. 13 Paris Jewels sale—appears to be a cluster of grapes. At second glance, however, it could be a storm cloud with rain cascading beneath it. “There’s something about her work that makes people dream a little bit,” says Nico Landrigan, president of Verdura, the exclusive agent of Belperron’s work in the United States. Although the famously secretive artist refused to sign her pieces—Belperron believed her style was her signature—her myriad admirers know it when they see it. Says Landrigan: “She understood that every square millimeter of a piece is an opportunity to test the eye and invite it to take a second look.”

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