In 1941, New York-based jeweller Duke Fulco di Verdura collaborated with artist Salvador Dalí on five whimsical designs. The dazzling creations included a gold and ivory cigarette box, a morganite and ruby-encrusted Medusa-inspired brooch, and a pink tourmaline and turquoise brooch inspired by the Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne. Verdura, who ran his own eponymously named brand, then presented these jewels at an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
The sparkling baubles were sold to various private collectors over the following years, and in 2014, Verdura (the label) borrowed four of them for its 75th anniversary showcase. This exhibition marked the first time that the jewels had been displayed together in over seven decades.
But Dalí’s influence on Verdura didn’t stop there. At the ongoing TEFAF art fair in Maastricht, Netherlands, the jewellery brand unveiled a brand new collection titled Out of This World, From the Celestial to the Surreal. Spanning brooches, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the jewels are inspired by the legendary artist’s works and Verdura’s original designs from the ‘40s.
A highlight piece is the Dogwood brooch, which comprises petals of pink tourmaline that culminate in a cluster of yellow sapphires. The jewel is fringed with yellow gold, and even features tendrils of gold that form a flame-like motif around its centre stones. It can also be worn as a pendant suspended from a yellow gold chain, which can be purchased separately.
What’s particularly fascinating about this convertible brooch is that it originally appeared in a 1941 surrealist painting that Dalí did for Vogue. Clearly, Verdura wanted to bring the artist’s vision to life.
The brooch is also available in an alternative combination of star sapphires surrounding a central pink spinel. Like the pink tourmaline option, this variant is also gilded in yellow gold. Verdura’s collection also features ear clips crafted with the same dogwood motifs.
Owning a piece of Dalí history doesn’t come cheap, though. The pink brooch will set you back US$87,500 (S$123,856), while its blue variant is priced at S$78,000 (S$110,409). But taking into account the jewel’s rich history and gorgeous design, we reckon it’s worth every cent.
(Main photo: Verdura; Featured photo: The Adventurine/ Conde Nast)