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ASJH Spring 2011

ASJH Spring 2011

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Published by ACC Distribution
American Society of Jewelry Historians features Paul Flato: Jeweler to the Stars, published by Antique Collectors' Club
American Society of Jewelry Historians features Paul Flato: Jeweler to the Stars, published by Antique Collectors' Club

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Published by: ACC Distribution on Jul 01, 2011
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10/09/2014

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NEWSLETTER Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2011
historians
American Society of
ewelry
 J 
 
A Letter from thePresident
Dear ASJH Member:We kicked off our 25th Anniversary celebrations with an exclusive cura-tor-led tour of 
Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels 
at theCooper-Hewitt Museum. The event was sold out within a few days,large-ly due to the efforts of board mem-bers Sarah Coffin of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum,Nicolas Luchsingerof Van Cleef & Arpels and DianaSinger,ASJH Program Chair for NewYork. Our all-volunteer board devotesan incredible amount of resources and time to create our newsletters andprogramming and we have also spent a significant amount of time identify-ing and reaching out to new board members.As a result,we have put together an impressive election slate this year, which will infuse the board with new talent and perspective that will help usto build upon a solid foundation. Patricia Kiley Faber is running for the posi-tion of President,Sarah Coffin for Vice-President and Kim Vagner forSecretary. I know you will also be pleased to welcome Hilary Heard,Dr.Joseph Levine and Mark Schaffer to the board. Hilary Heard brings with herextensive marketing experience and Dr. Joseph Levine brings a collector’sperspective,enabling us to tap still wider audiences. Mark Schaffer brings atradition of expertise in antique and period jewelry and succeeds anotherdistinguished board member,his uncle and colleague,Peter Schaffer. Thisdynamic group shall steer the Society for the next few years and I hope you will join me and support their nomination with your votes.Warmly,Reema KeswaniASJH PresidentEmail: info@jewelryhistorians.orgPhone: 914-235-0983
2 ASJH
Contents
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P
AUL
F
LATO
: J
EWELER TO THE
S
TARS
8 O
LD
J
AVANESE
G
OLD
: T
HE
H
UNTER
T
HOMPSON
C
OLLECTION AT
Y
ALE
U
NIVERSITY
14 N
EW
A
CQUISITION FROM THE
M
USEUM OF
F
INE
A
RTS
, B
OSTON
15
Cartier: The Power of Style18 ASJH Elections20 Calendar
ABOVE
: Paul Flato gold, ruby anddiamond puffy heart brooch,circa 1939. Sotheby’s, New YorkC
OVER
: Demon-shaped kris han-dle. East Java, Late Classic peri-od (1000–1400 C.E.). 2008.21.8.Yale University Art Gallery
ASJH Events
Renaissance Jewels of Bavaria, May 12
A discussion of jewelry portraits cre-ated by the painter and manuscriptilluminator Hans Mielich for theDukes of Bavaria in RenaissanceGermany in the form of a Jewel Book,meticulously documenting the mostimportant pieces. This lecture by jew-elry historian Stefanie Walker willoffer insights into the technique,style, and design of Renaissance jew-elry, so frequently a source of inspira-tion for generations of designers.
The Hidden Techniques of theMacedonian Goldsmiths, Sept. 15
Techniques formulated in ancienttimes and lands have enduredthrough the ages, and many areused even to this day. Explore thesehidden techniques perfected by theMacedonians centuries ago withDr. Monica Jackson, a archeologistand historian specializing in ancientjewelry from the Mediterranean.
 
Spring 2011 3
P
AUL
F
LATO
:J
EWELER TO THE
S
TARSA lecture by Elizabeth Irvine Bray to theAmerican Society of Jewelry Historians atThe Fashion Institute of Technology, NewYork City, December 16, 2010.Synopsis by Jane Tiger
Paul Flato was one of the most enigmatic andfascinating jewelry designers of the twentiethcentury. His jewels were worn by the rich andfamous and were prominently featured in sixmajor films of the 1930s and 1940s. More thanhalf a century later, Flato’s distinctive jewelry still remains innovative, stylish and greatly sought after. His personal triumphs and fail-ures are unforgettable stories that ElizabethIrvine Bray presented in her slide lecturebased on her new beautifully illustrated book
Paul Flato: Jeweler to the Stars 
.Born in a southeast Texas town in 1900,Flato was raised in a large family of prosper-ous merchants and ranchers, who made himfeel comfortable with wealthy people. Pre-oilTexas was a land of cotton, ranching, cowboys and nomadic Gypsies,and Flato’s boyhood was filled with Western myths and a taste foradventure. He went to New York City at the height of the RoaringTwenties to attend Columbia University but dropped out after only one year. He apprenticed with a Swiss jeweler and watchmaker, butafter a couple of years he went into business on his own.Flato began in the jewelry business by selling large engagementrings and pearl necklaces to friends from Columbia University. By age twenty-seven, he had his own exclusive boutique on 57th Streetcatering to socialites and to the wealthy, and by the mid 1930s he was creating one-of-a-kind jewels for his fast growing clientele. Flato was charming, funny, a master salesman, and had a flair for the the-atrical. He enlisted Brenda Frazier, debutante of the year 1939 andon every fashion magazine cover, to model a necklace that hedesigned with the 125-carat Jonker diamond, the third largest in the world at the time. The Jonker was owned by Harry Winston, then alargely unknown diamond dealer, who supplied Flato with impor-tant diamonds. Flato designed the settings for these stones and soldthe pieces to his clients.By the early 1930s, Flato shifted away from selling pearls andlarge diamond “ice cube” rings and hired a team of designers. Flatoclaimed that he couldn’t draw a line, but stood over his designers, while they drew thousands of sketches and renderings of jewels,
The book cover features anaquamarine and ruby bucklenecklace, circa 1939, designedfor Mrs. Cole Porter. The inkand gouache is the originaldesign drawing. Necklace:Siegelson, New York. Drawing:Christie’s Images

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