VERDURA: Yesterday and oh yes, Today!



If you’re at all a fan of jewelry, you’re certainly familiar with Verdura jewelry.  The super-brief version of the story is this: Duke Fulco di Verdura, a Sicilian aristocrat and lover of design and art in all forms, rose to great prominence in the mid-1920s when he began designing costume jewelry for fashion legend Coco Chanel.  He went on to make jewelry under his own brand, Verdura, until he sold his business and retired in 1973.  The Verdura brand has continued to flourish, being owned and run by the current Chairman & CEO, Ward Landrigan, since 1985.  The Verdura website has a wonderful biography of Mr. Verdura, complete with dozens of photographs and illustrations here.

The current collection includes both vintage pieces, designed and produced by Mr. Verdura, himself, and new products created inspired by the pieces in the Verdura archives.  Verdura’s style is instantly recognizable – his designs have been worn by just about every actress, model and aristocrat for decades – and have been often copied.

A few of Verdura’s Greatest Hits:

  1. Maltese Cross
  2. Cuff bracelet
  3. Bold ‘jewel-toned’ gemstones
  4. ‘Link’ bracelet

During my visit to the House of Verdura, I was treated to case after case of spectacular pieces, many vintage and one-of-a-kind!

{the classic ‘Theodora’ cuff featuring a Maltese Cross}

The Theodora Cuff is currently available in a limited series of 200, made with fine gemstones (including sapphire, emerald, amethyst, rubies diamonds, aquamarines, garnets, citrines and peridots set in 18k gold on a hinged cuff of black enamel over gold) and sold in pairs of individually, engraved with a number.  Each cuff is $97,500.

 

{‘Byzantine’ Necklace}

The ‘Byzantine’ necklace is a favorite of mine because of it’s lush jewel tones – I especially love the purple, my favorite color.  It reminds me of some of my necklaces from Turkey (it is indeed appropriately named).  The Byzantine necklace is a beautiful combination of antique amethyst, emeralds and yellow gold.  Full description and more photos here.  $119,500.

 

{‘Caged’ ring}

The Caged ring that I got to play with, pictured above, is a modern design and was crafted of white topaz stones ‘free floating’ in a gold cage.  There are two versions available at the moment, the Caged Ring featuring rock crystal and 18k yellow gold for $9,500 and the Caged Bubbles Ring features rock crystal and gold for $8,500.

 

{One of many jewelry cases at Verdura  <sigh>}

 

{“my” ring}

This ring isn’t actually mine.  But if I could choose any in the collection, I think this might be it.  This ring, to me, is a Rorschach test.  I see a hat, a kalpak or turban, like those worn by men during the Ottoman Empire.  So I would name it the Talisman ring, or something like that.  The colors are also bright, which again makes me thing of the Ottomans.  I love the strong purple statement, of course, but also the red gemstones woven through it and diamonds shimmering around the edges, as well.

 

{vintage Cabochon Ceylon Sapphire Necklace}

I would be remiss in my duties by not including at least one vintage piece.  The Cabochon Ceylon Sapphire Necklace caught my eye immediately because I felt like I had seen something like it before.  Ah, yes, in my grandma’s jewelry box!  My grandma’s frosted-blue necklace is from the 50s and was made with 3 strands of resin beads – not precious metals – and is now a part of my collection.  The Verdura version was crafted in France in 1949 and was crafted with a platinum mounting, 53 oval Ceylon sapphires of 308 carats, 77 brilliant-cut diamonds of approximately 4.75 carats and 178 baguette-cut sapphires of approx. 25 carats.  You get the picture. It’s incredible.  Price upon request here.

If you’re wondering, the cuff bracelet pictured at the very top of this post is the Maltese Cuff Cross, a piece currently produced directly from the Verdura archives.  It’s 18k yellow gold with peridot, blue topaz, diamond and enamel.  $49,500 and available here.

If you’re a lover of Verdura jewelry, it truly is an investment.  Even with pieces being crafted today, they are so limited in number as to be very exclusive.  I visited the showroom in New York City, which requires an appointment. Verdura pieces are also available on the Verdura website here and at Bergdorf Goodman.  As someone who has scoured Western Europe and the U.S. in search of the finest vintage jewelry, I can tell you that there’s not a lot of vintage Verdura out there.  It is valuable and those who purchase it don’t often part with it, though a selection of pieces can be found on sites such as 1stdibs and the TheRealReal.

If you’re interested in Verdura, do visit the website.  It’s a treasure trove of history and beautiful design.

And a heartfelt thank you to Caroline for a wonderful visit to the showroom!

À bientôt,

Katherine xo

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3 Comments

  1. Vartan on November 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Katherine you have an awesome taste in jewelry. Take a look at our collection. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a unique creation for you.
    Giani Inspirations

  2. Artificial Jewelry Designs on December 6, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I must say fabulous jewels. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  3. Luanne W. Latta on January 28, 2018 at 3:25 am

    The ring and jewelry are so nice, I have gone through your post and very interested to collect one of the necklace set . thanks for sharing

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