Verdura’s founder, Duke Fulco di Verdura, was a Sicilian aristocrat who began his career in Paris as an exceptional designer for Coco Chanel. After a period of eight years of working with Chanel, where he made the brand’s signature pieces, the Maltese Cross Cuffs, he moved on to America, in 1934; to further pursue his design passion. His association with the Hollywood actress Diana Vreeland opened the way for him to design colorful jewelry for other celebrities of the era as well, such as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and Marlene Dietrich; all of whom became a part of his devoted clients. Following this, he proceeded to work with the Flato design team in Hollywood before forming his own business in New York, in 1939. He established his boutique on Fifth Avenue with financial assistance from Cole Porter and Vincent Astor.
The Maison’s jewelry creations are, undoubtedly, timeless, sophisticated, and distinctly exceptional; tempting a range of prestigious customers. In 1973, Fulco decided to sell his business shares and moved to London; living in exile until his death. After a period of twelve years, Ward Landrigan decided to purchase Verdura and with his son, Nico Landrigan, managing the jewelry house, they made luxury jewels that honored the Fulco style of aesthetics.
Duke Fulco di Verdura was, undoubtedly, one of the most prominent jewelry designers of the 20th century. The reason why the brand’s jewelry is so unique lies in its making use of natural objects like shells, animals, flowers, enamels, and polished glasses in jewelry designing. In addition, the collections feature large, boldly colored gemstones with gold settings. Verdura’s designs never followed existing fashion trends; breaking the traditional rules of jewelry design, combining metals and enamels, precious and semi-precious stones in a way that was typically unique to the Verdura name.
It was probably never known that Verdura was the first jeweler to truly transform common objects, like strings and coins, integrating them into stunning jewelry pieces. The brand’s wonderful creations are inclusive of signed brooches, the Maltese Cross by Chanel, “Night and Day” cufflinks by Cole Porter and Verdura’s own collections, such as the “Raja”, “Kensington”, “Numbered Cuff”, and others; all of which bear witness to the jeweler’s astounding craftsmanship.
If you require a Verdura jewelry piece, that is almost as good as new, at a favorable price, then the only address for pre-owned jewelry to have in mind is the Miller House.