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Joan Crawford - An Oscar Winning Legend

Born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23rd 1903, Joan Crawford was one of the highest paid women in America during her long and successful career on stage and screen, which saw the American Film Institute vote her the 10th Greatest Female Star in American Cinema History.

Crawford was married a total of four times and was the adopted mother to five children.  A star noted for her style and elegance, Crawford enjoyed a love of beautiful jewellery and is pictured above wearing a stunning collection dating back to 1935 by Verger Frères for Boucheron which Joan owned.  She was often pictured wearing the striking pieces which included a necklace, bracelet and brooch incorporating beautiful aquamarines, Crawford’s birthstone, perfectly set with round brilliant cut diamonds, the set was also worn by Crawford in the 1939 film The Women.  The collection was bought by Andy Warhol at auction in 1978, following the sad passing of Crawford the previous year at the age of 73, and was later sold again at auction to Hancocks, the London Jewellers for an undisclosed sum.

One of Crawford’s Husbands, Al Steele was the President of Pepsi Cola and presented her with a gold Pepsi Bottle brooch which was adorned with emeralds and diamonds and finished with a ruby bottle cap.  It was sold at auction at Doyle New York in December 2011 for $5,000 nearly 10 times its estimate.

Also sold at the same Auction was a gold wristwatch, which was an art-deco style piece with two tone styling and a snake chain bracelet with Crawford’s name inscribed on the reverse, the piece sold for $2,500, doubling the estimate given for the unusual item.

Joan owned many pieces of fine and costume jewellery including the above imitation Pearl collection, with the pretty set including 2 single string pearl necklaces, together with a matching bracelet and pearl drop earrings.  Classically styled with a matching bag with miniature pearl and embroidered detailing, the set even included a pair of matching opera glasses, and fetched over $1200 at auction.

In December 2012, precious jewellery pieces which had previously been owned by Joan were auctioned at Sotheby’s Australia, including a statement Gold and Citrine Clip-Brooch by Raymond Yard, a name recognised for the finest in art deco jewellery designs.  The set included a rectangular 350 carat brilliant cut citrine, which could be worn with a double snake-link gold chain which fastened with a smaller citrine clasp.  With ear clips and a hinged bracelet completing the timeless set, it sold for an amazing $56,250.

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