The Suite Life of Joan Crawford

Every diva needs a favorite piece of jewelry. Befitting her outsize personality, Joan Crawford had three. This brooch, bracelet, and necklace—created by Parisian jewelry house Verger Frères for Boucheron circa 1935 and acquired by the future Oscar winner soon thereafter—feature 131 cts. of oval-cut aquamarines and 11.5 cts. of round brilliant-cut platinum-set diamonds in 18k yellow gold with rose gold accents. “If you look at photos of Joan Crawford,” says Stephen Burton, ­managing director of Hancocks, the London ­jeweler that now owns the shining trio, “you’ll see that she wore this suite, or part of it, throughout her whole life.” (That includes in her most famous film, 1939’s The Women, in which she played a husband-stealing perfume-counter girl.) But Crawford wasn’t the set’s only celebrity owner: A year after her death in 1977, Andy Warhol purchased the parure during a sale of her estate. “Warhol was a very astute collector,” explains Burton. “The interesting thing about this suite is that if it didn’t belong to anyone, if it just belonged to Joe Blow, it would still be an amazing piece of jewelry. It is a work of art in its own right.”

More vintage pics on
+ Carol Channing’s Head Trip
+ Princess Diana and Her Legendary Swan Lake Suite
+ Elizabeth Taylor in White Diamonds (and Rubies)

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