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Verdura 18k and diamond retro ear clips ca. 1940s.
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Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura, moved from his native Palermo to Paris in 1926, where he began working with Coco Chanel, initially as a textile designer, and eventually as head jewelry design. After relocating to the United States in 1937, he took a position as designer at Paul Flato’s jewelry establishment in New York, then in California. He remained with Flato for two years before opening his own salon in September 1939 at 712 Fifth Avenue and a second in Paris on rue Boissy d’Anglas in 1947. His jewelry featured gold mountings with precious stones, and semi-precious stones, a bold undertaking at the time when platinum was the most popular metal. In 1972 Verdura sold the business to his associate Joseph G. Alfano, and retired to London, living there until his death in 1978. In 1985, Edward J. Landrigan purchased Verdura, Inc. and established a salon at 745 Fifth Avenue, where he continues to produce fine jewels from Verdura’s, drawings in a manner consistent with the Duke’s tradition.