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Jean Schlumberger Pink Tourmaline and Sapphire “Étoile de Mer” Starfish Brooch

$100,000

This dramatically oversized gemmy starfish brooch set with pink tourmalines, sapphires, and diamonds, mounted in gold and platinum, was designed by Jean Schlumberger and dates from the mid 1940s, when Schlumberger, just arrived to New York from Paris, and opened his own luxe boutique on 57th Street. Inspired by the vivid coloration of sea stars in nature, Schlumberger set the high relief form with sumptuous pink tourmalines edged by pear-shaped blue sapphires, highlighted by diamond mêlée, all dynamically patterned by criss-crossing textured gold. Wearing this vibrantly colored and lively starfish conveys the special joy in the beauty and diversity of marine life that so animated the young artist’s talent and imagination in his innovative early years.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-20000
Artist: Jean Schlumberger, New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1945
Size: 3.625” length, 3.75” width
Materials: 14 Oval-cut pink tourmaline (approximate total weight 9.10 carats); 30 Pear-cut sapphires (approximate total weight 4.80 carats); 30 Round brilliant-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 1.50 carats); 18K Gold; Platinum
Signed: "Schlumberger"
Literature: For a discussion of Schlumberger’s society and intellectual clientele, and his love of exotic sea creatures, see Tiffany Jewels, by John Loring, pp. 195-198

Trained in Paris by the great couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, Jean Schlumberger served in World War II and moved to New York, opening a jewelry boutique that attracted New York’s “monied bohemia," intellectual women who responded to his prodigious creativity inspired by “regions of unsuspected beauty." The wealthy and exquisite Babe Paley, a fashion editor of Vogue known as “this country’s unchallenged fashion leader," was famously photographed wearing a Schlumberger green tourmaline and sapphire starfish, pinned high on her left shoulder. Schlumberger was soon recruited and snapped up by the revitalized Tiffany & Co., where he contributed significantly to the renaissance of design at the firm.

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