A Sphene, Diamond and Gold Necklace

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    • Circa 1940

    • Cushion-shaped sphene, total approximately 75.00 carats
      Old European-cut diamonds, total approximately 1.00 carat

    • With French assay marks
      14 karat yellow gold and platinum, approximately 14.00 inches

  • Accompanied by a letter of certification.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Flato, an American jeweler, began his career in New York in the late 1920’s with a store at One East 57th Street. He swiftly gained success using his flamboyant charm and vivacious sense of humor, cultivating an upscale clientele of socialites and politicians. His enduring designs were imbued with his exuberance and sense of style and were often inspired by his many travels, as well as the Surrealists in Europe. Many of his earlier sophisticated designs of exceptional craftsmanship featured large diamonds acquired from his friend Harry Winston, at the time a relatively unknown wholesale diamond dealer. His collaboration with Winston lead to the sale of the famous ‘Jonker’ diamond, weighting 125.26 carats, made wearable in a necklace he designed. In 1938, he expanded his business to Los Angeles with an outpost on Sunset Boulevard. Flato’s whimsical, voluminous and distinctive jewels appealed to Hollywood’s elite, and his charismatic personality especially captivated the glamorous screen idols such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth, to name a few. He was the first jeweler to cleverly promote and receive credits for an exquisite three-strand diamond necklace adorning Katherine Hepburn in the motion picture movie Holiday.

    The Flato necklace being offered in the sale in a unique example of Flato’s highly collectible work and his affinity and experimentation with all types of gems. The graceful double swag statement necklace composed of sphenes, an unconventional precious stone, is asymmetrically enhanced by a sculpted gold bow and diamond accents. A Vogue advertisement from the 1930’s stated “There is nothing more awful than to wear some new jewelry and have nobody notice it, a contingency you can easily avoid by making sure yours are Jewels by Flato, which is to say, conversation pieces…” This ad summarizes the impact of Flato’s aesthetic and limitless range of creative designs.


A Sphene, Diamond and Gold Necklace

$15,000 - 25,000 

sold for $18,750

Contact Specialist
Susan Abeles
Head of Department, Americas and Senior International Specialist
New York
+1 212 940 1383


New York Auction 6 December 2018