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Salvador DALÍ

1904 - 1989, Figueres, Spain

Salvador Dalí's first jewellery designs appeared in Vogue on 15th March, 1937, while his first six unique jewels that he made with he Duke Fulco di Verdura were not executed until 1940/41. When Dali and his wife Gala came to New York they stayed at the St Regis Hotel, which is where he met Carlo Alemany, an Argentinian-born society jeweller who had a small studio on the mezzanine, who proceeded to pay $5,000 for five jewellery designs by Dali, which were subsequently  copyrighted in 1949. Dalí and Alemany made an additional 12 jewels over the next three years, which became larger and more complicated.

In the winter of 1953, Mr and Mrs Catherwood purchased the entire collection of 19 jewels for a sum in the region of 41 million with the intention of exhibiting them to raise money for charity. Dalí designed a further 12 jewels but the Catherwoods did not want any more. Instead these, an additional seven pieces, and the Catherwood jewels were purchased by Mrs Owen Cheatham, the wife of the Plywood magnate, bringing the total to 36, which are now all in the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in Figueres, Spain.

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