The Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ‚Jarretière‘ bracelet holds a fascinating story, making it one of the most important jewels of all time. This exceptional piece of jewellery stars in Anne Eisenhower’s remarkable collection, all exuding the timeless elegance of old Hollywood glamour.
Marlene Dietrich, renowned for her distinctive voice and trailblazing style, epitomized the essence of Hollywood stardom. A German-American actress, she soared to fame during the transition from silent films to talkies, captivating audiences with her magnetic presence. In the 1930s, Dietrich worked under contract with Paramount Pictures, collaborating frequently with Austrian-American director Josef von Sternberg on notable films like „The Blue Angel“ (1930) and „Blonde Venus“ (1932).
As Dietrich’s fame grew, she expanded her repertoire, collaborating with other legendary directors, including the esteemed Alfred Hitchcock. Dietrich’s Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ‚Jarretière‘ bracelet, a prominent piece worn by the actress during the filming of „Stage Fright,“ the 1950 thriller directed by Hitchcock. This bracelet has become the star lot in the Magnificent Jewels of Anne Eisenhower .
Prior to entering the collection of the late philanthropist, interior designer, and granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the bracelet held a special place in Marlene Dietrich’s heart, both on and off the silver screen. It was the bracelet as one of the most recognizable pieces of Van Cleef & Arpels ever produced, attesting to its iconic status.
Beyond their shared glamour and magnetism, both Anne Eisenhower and Dietrich possessed a strong sense of patriotism. While Anne’s grandfather led the Allied Forces in liberating Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, Dietrich became a dedicated advocate for the US war effort. After renouncing her German citizenship and becoming a US citizen in the late 1930s, Dietrich utilized her position in the spotlight to sell war bonds during World War II and volunteer at the Hollywood canteen, a popular gathering place for off-duty soldiers, alongside other Hollywood luminaries. She also embarked on two USO tours in 1944 and 1945, entertaining troops in France, Italy, Algeria, and Germany. In recognition of her contributions, she received the Medal of Freedom from the US government and the Legion of Honour from the French government in 1947.
Marlene Dietrich resumed her work on screen and stage in the late 1940s and early 1950s, featuring in notable films such as Billy Wilder’s „A Foreign Affair“ and Hitchcock’s „Stage Fright.“ During this time, she formed enduring relationships with renowned fashion and jewelry houses, including Christian Dior, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Dietrich’s close friendship with Louis Arpels, a member of the Van Cleef & Arpels family, led to the creation of one of the most extraordinary pieces of jewelry ever made: her ruby and diamond bracelet.
Crafted in 1937 by Van Cleef & Arpels‘ expert jewellers, the cuff bracelet features oval-shaped rubies, round, square-shaped, and baguette-cut diamonds, all meticulously set in platinum. Notably, the bracelet graced several scenes in Hitchcock’s „Stage Fright,“ as Dietrich’s character,
The VCA ruby and diamond cuff bracelet will be offered by Christie’s New York in June 7th.