Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
11 x 9 1/2 in. (27.9 x 24.1 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Not on view
Schiaparelli's fall 1938 collection was rife with references to flora and fauna, inspired by the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli’s lush depictions of spring, specifically in "The Birth of Venus" and "Primavera," as discussed in Dilys Blum's "Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli." Coined the "pagan" collection, motifs such as insects, leaves, and flowers were in abundance as embroidery, buttons and jewelry, such as this beautifully crafted one-of-a-kind necklace. Artistically rendered in enameled gilt metal, the back is as fascinating and realistic as the front, a sign of fine workmanship. The single insect is a subtle masterful Schiaparelli touch that would likely only be noticed on second glance, giving a surreal tone to this otherwise glistening and naturalistic ornamental piece. Worn by one of Schiaparelli's faithful clients, Millicent Rogers, the piece would have complemented Rogers striking, unconventional beauty.
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