“I can’t reveal my sources, but I work very hard to find the most wonderful jewelry on the market,” says Lee Siegelson, owner of Siegelson, a prominent New York City-based third-generation dealer. These emerald and diamond ear clips by Suzanne Belperron are a particularly alluring example of the rare treasures he uncovers.
Those familiar with the name Belperron know that the French designer never signed her pieces. She famously said, “My style, my signature,” and was happy to leave it at that. In the case of these earrings, the “signature” on display is the boteh, or paisley shape, a form that Belperron returned to again and again.
“The boteh curves wonderfully to reflect the shape of the ear,” notes Siegelson. “Belperron was known for curvaceous, sculptural designs. Nothing was ever flat or straight. These earrings also feature her signature ‘virgin gold,’ which she developed and finished herself, so it shows the hand of the maker in each groove and texture.”
The jewel was created in 1970, during the twilight of the designer’s career (she first rose to acclaim in the 1930s and died in 1983). “She stuck very closely to her style, and the timeless pieces she made throughout her career could be almost interchangeable,” says Siegelson.
The words “Darde Compagnie” are clearly stamped on the underside — an important detail, he explains. “Darde was the [Parisian] manufacturer she worked with throughout her career. They were used to her exacting standards and made pieces to her specifications.”
One mysterious element is the identity of the earrings’ original owner. But, observes Siegelson, “they were clearly made for a wonderfully stylish person.” Which leads one to ask: Who will be next?