Bull’s-eye! These Verdura Gold Target Earrings Hit the Mark

No summer camp necessary — just a riveting “archery lesson” in 18-karat gold and diamonds from a storied Fifth Avenue jeweler.
Verdura Target earrings
Verdura gold and diamond Target earrings, 2010

Heritage brands still in operation today often revisit their archival designs to create jewels to be enjoyed by a new generation of collectors. Take these Verdura Target earrings, a 2010 reissue of a design that debuted in 1940.

New York society “swans” Millicent Rogers and Dorothy Paley were the first to own Target earrings. Each often wore her set with a distinctive matching Verdura brooch, according to Win Betteridge, co-owner of Greenleaf & Crosby, in Palm Beach, Florida, which is offering the earrings on 1stDibs.

“Everything Verdura does is very limited in production,” he notes. “But it has made a number of pairs of them over the years.”

Other members of the city’s glamorous leisure class were also devotees of the house. Born in Italy, Duke Fulco di Verdura opened his New York salon in 1939 after leaving his position at Chanel in Paris, whose legendary founder was so enamored of his Maltese cross cuffs that she wore them constantly, adding to their fame. Fans like Cole and Linda Porter, Paulette Goddard, Greta Garbo and, later, the swans of the 1960s, appreciated his “organic and urbane aesthetic,” as writer Amy Fine Collins describes his style in the introduction to Verdura: The Life and Work of a Master Jeweler (Thames & Hudson).

Verdura Target earring back
A detail of the back of one ear clip, which is signed “VERDURA.”

A dynamic design, the ear clips display Verdura’s preference for extravagant proportions. Feather-tipped arrows pierce the archery target’s bands of woven gold (rope motifs are an enduring Verdura signature). One has landed squarely on the diamond-set bull’s-eye for the perfect finishing touch.

“There is taste combined with a bit of whimsy in Verdura’s iconic designs,” says Betteridge.

How to style them today? That depends on the wearer.

“Jewelry collectors who wear Verdura do not want to look like everyone else,” says Betteridge. “They are unlikely to be found draped in Van Cleef Alhambra necklaces and Cartier Love bracelets, preferring to fashion their own unique style.”

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