Royal Jewels: Verdura

– By Andrea Mestrovic – 
Coco Chanel’s notorious Byzatine inspired Maltese Cross cuffs, which she wore relentlessly as an interminable fixture around both wrists, were crafted by her accomplice and good friend, Sicilian aristocrat, Duke Fulco di Verdura.  The two met at a social gathering hosted by Linda and Cole Porter in Venice in 1925, and quickly established a business affiliation and an immediate closeness.  Fulco is credited with helping Coco turn her somewhat outmoded accessories into eternal jewels desired by many for years to come.
Fulco’s infatuation and uttermost adoration of Renaissance art is unmistakably recognized in his nonconformist jewelry collections.  He often collaborated with prominent artists of his time, like Salvador Dali.  Their 1941 joint collection based on surrealism was applauded by the critics and showcased in an art gallery in New York that same year to long lineups of avid fans.

Left: Duke Fulco di Verdura and Coco Chanel admire the Verdura Maltese Cross Cuff. Right: Coco Chanel (wearing the Maltese Cross Cuff on each wrist) by Man Ray, 1935.

It was Fulco’s ability to work with unique color compositions and illustrious shapes that captivated the high society worldwide.  The next logical step was a store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which opened its doors to the public in September of 1939.
Today, Ward Landrigan, a longtime admirer of Fulco di Verdura’s jewelry, owns and heads the company with son Nico Landrigan as president.  The company continues to honor the legacy Fulco left behind.  Any newly released pieces are based on Fulco’s original designs and over 10,000 sketches he left behind after his passing in 1978.

Top Left: The Wrappped Ruby Heart Brooch. Top Right: The Byzantine Ravenna Brooch. Bottom Left: The Clamshell Compact. Bottom Right: Pink Shell Brooch

Verdura jewelry is not only synonymous with quality, status and prestige – it is shapely art history that has been worn by countless greats since the early 1900’s.  With such a colorful past and cross-generational appeal, Verdura jewelry is a brilliant way to complete her happy Mother’s Day.
Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic
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About the Author

Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic or read all her posts on http://oliviapalermo.com/author/andrea