This is the definitive illustrated biography of one of the most influential and important jewelry designers of the 20th century. In 1919, Suzanne Belperron began her lifelong journey at the vanguard of modern art and design. Her pioneering work in the Art Deco style evolved into the colourful compositions and pure, sensual forms that became her unmistakable trademarks. In the pantheon of 20th century master jewelers, Madame Belperron stands apart as the only woman. Illustrated in this book is a splendid array of Belperron's work, from her earliest designs as a student in her native city of Besancon, in eastern France, to her groundbreaking creations for the Maison Boivin and Maison B. Herz in the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in the iconic jewels she designed after World War II. Also included are the original designs she created for clients ranging from intellectuals to actors, artists to royalty. Jean Cocteau, Colette, Mrs. Gary Cooper, Doris Duke, Mona von Bismarck, Lauren Bacall, Daisy Fellowes, Clark Gable, Dorothy Paley Hirshon, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were among her loyal patrons and friends.
Current admirers include Catherine Deneuve, Daphne Guinness, and Karl Lagerfeld, who has written a personal foreword to this book. A selection of over 9,200 gouache paintings and tracings from the Belperron archive of designs (nearly all unpublished) are shown with an impressive catalog of finished jewels. Divided into six chapters, the book follows Belperron's extraordinary life and career. With many specially commissioned photographs of jewelry from private collections, the publication presents a portfolio of some of the rarest and most important examples of Suzanne Belperron's work. Based on private letters, photographs and personal documents from the Herz and Belperron families, as well as those of her expert craftsmen, the book offers a view into the personal life of a remarkable woman whose influence endures to this day.