Lot 199. 18 Karat Gold, Platinum and Diamond Necklace and Bracelet, Designed by George Headley, Los Angeles, the Necklace Retailed by Paul Flato, the Bracelet Retailed by Laykin et Cie, circa 1943. Estimate 100,000 — 150,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's. 

The flexible necklace designed as a graduated line of flowering vines accented by an off-set diamond bow, the leaves and bow set with old mine and old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 30.10 carats, length 15½ inches; circa 1941; the bracelet of similar design set with old mine and old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 14.15 carats, length 6 7/8  inches; circa 1943.

ProvenanceFormerly in the Collection of Norma Shearer.

Exhibited: Diamond Divas 2008, Diamond Museum, Antwerp, April 11 - June 8, 2008.

George W. Headley Retrospective, The Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, September 19, 2006 - January 7, 2007.

Literature: Elizabeth Irvine Bray, Paul Flato: Jeweler to the Stars, page 48-49.

Annette Trapert, The Power of Glamour, page 81.

Suzanne Tennenbaum and Janet Zapata, The Jeweled Garden: A Colorful History of Gems, Jewels and Nature, page 106.

Vinciane Van Grotenhuis van Onstein, Diamond Divas, pages 157 and 203.

Vogue, New York, August 1, 1941, pages 28-29.

NoteThe present necklace, bought by Norma Shearer around 1941, was designed by George Headley as a cascade of flowers, ivy leaves and bows. It appeared in a 1941 edition of Vogue which is where Norma Shearer may have originally seen it. Or, she might have noted the necklace in Flato's shop on Sunset Boulevard. Either way, Shearer was one of many Hollywood icons that looked to Flato for their finest jewels. Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers are some of Paul Flato's other notable clients.

Canadian-born Norma Shearer (1902-1983) was determined to be an actress after seeing a vaudeville show on her ninth birthday. With steely determination and hard work she achieved her dreams, signing a contract with MGM in 1923. Within four years Shearer made a total of 13 silent films for MGM that were box office hits. Unlike many stars of the 1920s, Shearer made the transition from silent films to 'talkies,' with ease, helped by her melodic medium-pitched voice. Usually portraying a sophisticated, liberated woman, Shearer's most notable role was in The Divorcee, which earned her an Oscar for Best Actress in 1930. Throughout her career she would be nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, with Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo as her main competitors.

Created at a time when both jeweler and star were in their heyday, this set is a sublime example of Flato at his best and most dramatic.

Sotheby'sMagnificent Jewels Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald, New York, 25 avr. 2017, 10:00 AM.