The Jewelry of Suzanne Belperron
Parisian jewelry designer, Suzanne Belperron became an iconic figure in the male dominated jewelry industry of the early twentieth century. She is thought to be the first women to be known as a Master Jeweler. Belperron became an incredibly influential designer; being the first to mix precious and semi precious components in her pieces.
Born in 1900, Belperron studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts and began her career at the tender age of twenty-one at the Maison Boivin, working as a draughtswoman. She became tired of the restraints of Art Deco, with its geometric forms and rigid lines, and began to experiment with carved stones and organic shapes. Bernard Herz recognized her talent and enticed her to his company in 1932 by offering her complete artistic freedom. Whilst at B. Hertz, she began to draw her inspiration from exotic cultures and nature, producing curvaceous forms and gem set fruit and floral motifs. It wasn’t long before she attracted a sophisticated clientele. Amongst her fans were Diana Vreeland, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and the Duchess of Windsor. When Elsa Schiapparelli appeared in Vogue magazine wearing jewelry by Belperron, it was confirmation of her creative and commercial success. Suzanne Belperron died in 1983.
Belperron never signed her jewels. When asked why she replied, “My style is my signature.” She also never opened a boutique, relying on word of mouth of her prestigious clients, whom she received by appointment. On May 14th her private collection of jewelry will come up for auction at Sotheby’s, Geneva. An official illustrated biography of Belperron is also set to be published this year.