Establishmentarians were disapproving of this 20thC supremacy of design for its own sake and the associated use of 'commonplace' materials to construct items once so thoroughly steeped in traditional notions of status and personal wealth. So it was left to daredevils and fashionistas to initially flout convention with these pieces, which were even then expensive, often painstakingly constructed and difficult to source.
Christian Dior died in 1957, ten years after ushering in his fateful 'New Look' and it was his protege Yves Saint-Laurent who took over the house, until his own game-changing departure in '61- this collar's year of manufacture.
Further research would illuminate exactly which one of these gentlemen was responsible for this piece but Dior bijoux were manufactured, beginning in 1955, by Henkel and Grosse, who produced four batches a year for Dior and also made jewellery for rival luminaries Schiaparelli and Lanvin.
As with so many things, by the time they became perfectly acceptable to the general herd, both the inspiration and production methods behind them had begun a slide toward obsolescence in the face of sloppy incoming hippiedom and the demise of taste in general. Luckily, a thing of beauty lasts forever, or something like that. If only in principle, because these delicious demi-parures have largely disappeared into private and institutional collections and a quick poke around the internet will give you an idea of just how scarce they've become on the open market. We sold another amethyst glass set a couple of years back through a boutique in the States and it was snapped up almost immediately.
< This one is date stamped (both necklace and earrings) in its original box and comes with a lovely letter from the previous owner, who wore the set a grand total of once in her fifty + years of stewardship. At 83, she decided it was time for this set to see a little bit more of the world, which is fair enough.
In this intrepid spirit, we offer it for sale to interested parties @ RICE & BEANS VINTAGE
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