“The myth and legend begins with a Sicilian noble named Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura and Marquis of Murata la Cerda who became great friends with Diana Vreeland, Cole Porter, and Coco Chanel. It was with Mademoiselle Chanel that he traveled to see the mosaic of the Byzantine Empress Theodora in the Chapel of Ravenna in 1930. The rich gold and jewel-toned tiles in the mosaic inspired the two to create a design that countered the platinum and diamond Art Deco style of the time and create a pair of cuffs that featured irregular-shaped semi-precious stones set in gold.
The cuffs soon became a Chanel and Vreeland signature. Verdura came to New York in 1939 already fully socially connected—Cole Porter and Vincent Astor backed his business. The jewelry was worn by Garbo (a gold curb link bracelet—she kept it on while gardening), Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn and assorted Astors, Paleys, and Whitneys.” – Stellene Volandes, Town & Country Magazine
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