Globe Travel

BY Lisa Lindblad

July 8, 2010

The story of Fulco di Verdura and his jewelry reads like a movie:  childhood idylls that influenced adult creativity, family conflicts that forced innovation and invention, chance meetings that opened crucial doors, supreme talent that endeared him to the glamorous, the rich and the famous.  When he died, the Duke di Verdura left in his archive 10,000 drawings and paintings of designs upon which, today, all new pieces emanating from the workshops are based.

Of particular interest were Verdura’s 1950’s pieces inspired by nature — perhaps the nature which he had so loved as a child in his Grandmother’s lovely country house in Sicily.  A seahorse, flower, stag, conjured from an irregular pearl or a remarkable stone are pure Verdura.  So is his “curbed link” which has been copied furiously but never seems to have the proportion, the heft or weight, the soul of the original.

And then there are the pieces with humor.  The globe, for example, gold continents wrapping an enameled sphere, which can be studded with a diamond – or more than one – to mark the spot, the country, that you fell in love with on that trip.  Or that you hold dear as your honeymoon idyll.  Worn as a pendant, used as cufflinks, dangling as a charm on a lovely link bracelet.

What a charming idea.

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John Derian Goes West