Friday, February 16, 2007

Audrey Hepburn and Tiffany & Co.

I was out in a familiar neighborhood today and had some time to kill, so I stopped in a tiny bookstore to browse in. As I passed the art and photography books I noticed The Audrey Hepburn Treasures prominently displayed, which made me smile. On the next shelf over, however, were two Tiffany books worth looking over.

The first, Tiffany Pearls, has been mentioned here before, and showcases Tiffany's many masterpieces involving pearls. Audrey, as Holly Golightly, is featured on the front cover and on the inside of the dust jacket. I had never looked over the book in person, and now that I have I must say that you'd either have to be an obsessive Audrey Hepburn collector or just really like pearls to buy this book. Audrey herself is hardly mentioned despite her covergirl appeal, and the pictures in the book are nothing we haven't seen before. It is a beautiful book to look over, though. (For the record, the pearl strands Audrey is wearing in the film are in fact imitation pearls used many times by Paramount Studios.)

Bejewelled by Tiffany, however, has a little more to offer. No new or interesting pictures, and still not a lot of Audrey mentions, but it does give some interesting history on the Tiffany diamond, which Audrey wore for publicity photos of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Word had it that Audrey was one of only two people to ever wear the diamond, but I could never find out who that mysterious other person was. Bejewelled was kind enough to offer more information! It turns out that a Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse wore the Tiffany diamond a scant four years before Audrey, and Mrs. Whitehouse also wore it as a necklace, although in a different setting. The "ribbon" necklace setting was designed especially for Audrey to wear for the Breakfast at Tiffany's photos, and the necklace was dismantled shortly afterwards. The mounting for the diamond was reused with an aquamarine stone and sold, and the rest of the ribbon necklace was reworked and sold as well. So there are two lucky people out there with jewelry that only Audrey Hepburn has worn before them! I wonder where they are now.

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