Designed as a cascade of articulated diamonds, set with channels of baguette diamonds to one side and articulated lines of brilliant-cut stones to the other. 1955-1965, signed Sterlé Paris, numbered...
Designed as a cascade of articulated diamonds, set with channels of baguette diamonds to one side and articulated lines of brilliant-cut stones to the other. 1955-1965, signed Sterlé Paris, numbered 1299, French assay marks. Accompanied by nine GIA certificates detailing the colour and clarity of the larger stones. 7.5cm high and 3cm wide. Weight 39 grams
Pierre Sterlé is a rather unique figure amongst the 20th Century French jewellers that dominate the vintage market these days. Not least because his jewels were the manifestations of one man's vision but perhaps most significantly because this vision was largely executed in the years of post war France.
We spend a lot of time in the pre war years for a reason, and the 1950s produced beautiful jewels but the level of innovation and dynamism is not as easy to point at. There are always exceptions, but the large houses tended to produce jewels that revisited pre-war ideas and the defining stylistic lines between the houses when it concerned the evolutions of the period became somewhat blurred.
Indeed by the 1960s, boutique jewellery, workshops repeating designs for competing names and the rapidly changing scene of fashion having narrowed the high-end, an undercurrent of financial survival can be spotted flowing through the output of many a familiar name...however this is where Pierre Sterlé's rather unusual character carved a niche. He was ruinously dedicated to innovation and his perception of style. Indeed it seems he was as bad a businessman as he was as good a designer.
Thankfully for us really, as what remains is a blindly brilliant body of work that is instantly recognisable and has a dedicated following as much today as it did in Sterlé's lifetime.
This brooch is a lovely illustration of Sterlé's work. Combining elements in brilliant-cut stones with others in step-cut stones...usually with a bold richness of goods in itself - large white diamonds, often with step-cuts that had been cut especially for the piece - and inimitable flexibility...fluidity was key to Sterlé's jewels, like this brooch's little trembling flourishes.