Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Carole Lombard's Star Sapphires


A while back while scrolling through photos of Carole Lombard, as one usually does, I noticed she was wearing a unique brooch and ring in many of them, whether they were shots from a film, publicity photos, or candids. Here is a sampling below (and an excuse to post a lot of photos of Carole):

My Man Godfrey (1936)


With Caeser Romero at the 1936 Mayfair Ball.


Fools for Scandal (1938)
 
   







After her divorce from William Powell, Carole treated herself to some magnificent star sapphires, the most notable one being the 152 carat brooch featured prominently in My Man Godfrey (1936).


I found this quite interesting as William Powell gave his girlfriend Jean Harlow a similarly sized star sapphire ring, as shown below:


I discovered a website which created a copy of the long-since-missing original for a display of the dress (which was itself lost and then found) worn in My Man Godfrey (1936).

The beaded dress from My Man Godfrey (1936) on display with replica star sapphire brooch. You can read how the brooch was made here.


The brooch apparently came apart to create a pendant and a ring (though you will notice in some photos she is wearing both the brooch and a ring so she had more than one).

 

 
Star sapphires, in addition to being Carole's birthstone, were in vogue at the time and popular with several movie stars, as mentioned in the articles above. However, a few years later, Carole was interested in selling her collection. We do not know if she ever did or if they went down on the plane with her. It is a mystery that will hopefully one day be solved. You can read more about her collection and theories here.


This post is part of the Carole Lombard: The Profane Angel Blogathon hosted by myself and Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Please check out all of the other posts celebrating this one-of-a-kind woman.

11 comments:

  1. Good eye! I never notice things like that, but when they are pointed out to me I am in awe and enjoy them very much.

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    1. I just randomly noticed them one day and was surprised at how many other photos they were in!

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  2. Wow, I never would have noticed that! They are certainly stunning! Will have to look for those in her movies now. She must have really loved that set.

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    1. I can certainly see why she loved them!! I bet they were absolutely stunning in real life!

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  3. I recently bought a book on gems in Hollywood, and they certainly do talk about Carole Lombard and her sapphires – but their collection of photos isn't nearly as interesting as yours. :)

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    1. I'll have to look that book up!! It sounds interesting!

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  4. Jean Harlow's biographer David Stenn says that the star sapphire from William Powell wasn't gem quality and was therefore virtually worthless - Bill was known to be a tightwad, although when he married Diana Lewis he must've had a change of heart because he showered her with jewels and furs and what not! There's pictures of Diana after they married, with her tiny frame swamped in practically an entire animal!

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    1. I didn't know that about her ring (need to read her biography, only read a couple of Powell's) but she seemed happy with it!

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  5. Thank you for sharing my story. I love researching the story and history behind the 152 ct Star Sapphire. Having worked with star sapphires before I knew what Carole own was priceless. The color is called cornflower blue and at that size truly rare. In trying to recreate the brooch we searched the world high and low to find a gem that size. None to be found -all are either in private collections or museums.

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    1. I had noticed Carole wearing the brooch and ring in many pics and was originally just going to do a picture post pointing it out and asking if anyone knew anything. Then I found your site!!

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