Diving for Starfish

Diving for Starfish

The Jeweler, the Actress, the Heiress and One of the World's Most Alluring Pieces of Jewelry

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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Baker & Taylor
Describes the author's search for one of the most famous pieces of jewelry ever made, a gold, articulated starfish brooch encrusted with rubies and amethysts made by Juliette Moutard for Paris jeweler Boivin in the early 1930s.

McMillan Palgrave

Both a history of fine jewelry coming out of Paris in the Golden Age and a tour through the secretive world of high-end, privately-sold jewelry, Diving for Starfish is a stylish detective story with a glittering piece of jewelry at its heart.

In the mid 1930s, in the workroom of the famous Parisian jeweler Boivin, a young jewelry designer named Juliette Moutard created one of the most coveted pieces of jewelry in the world—the famous starfish pin—still sought after today by aficionados of fine jewelry.

The starfish, created out of gold and encrusted with 71 cabochon rubies and 241 small amethysts, was distinctive because its five rays were articulated, meaning that they could curl and conform to the bustline or shoulder of the women who wore it. The House of Boivin made three of them. Two of the women who bought and wore the starfish were Claudette Colbert and Millicent Rogers.

Obsessed with the pin after she saw it in the private showroom of a Manhattan jewelry merchant, Cherie Burns set off on a journey to find out all she could about the elusive pins and the women who owned them. Her search took her around the world to Paris, London, New York, and Hollywood. Diving for Starfish is the story of these marvelous pieces of jewelry and the equally dazzling women who loved them.



Baker
& Taylor

The author describes her search for one of the most famous pieces of jewelry ever made, a gold, articulated starfish brooch encrusted with rubies and amethysts made by Juliette Moutard for Paris jeweler Boivin in the early 1930s.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250056207
Characteristics: 230 pages ; 22 cm

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JessicaGma Dec 21, 2018

It was interesting to learn a lot of about the fine jewellery biz and the starfish in question but ultimately, this was not my kind of book. I'd recommend it if you like non-fiction written by journalists.

m
michellelarowe
Aug 20, 2018

It's funny to me that a lot of people in the jewelry business don't like this book. I completely enjoyed it. Some online reviews talk about how she repeatedly kept saying how Fred Leighton was not the fellow's name who made the store (one of the people who put out the design many times after the original).

If you ask me, those reviewers missed that she was trying to be subtle about pointing out the fact that a large portion of the jewelry industry is based on public relations and advertising.

Occasionally there is a moment where it all comes together in the jewelry world. Design plus materials and workmanship come together to equal something unique like the original starfish. When that happens look out because it will then be copied and copied.

No wonder no one in the business really wanted to be part of the book. No one who earns their living that way wants to help an investigative journalist blow away the smoke and point out the mirrors.

I was entertained and enjoyed reading this book but then I'm the kind of person who wants to look past the glossy ads to see what actually goes on behind the scenes.

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