All text, concepts and images ©2009- 2014, Debra Healy
unless otherwise stated.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Millicent

Several years ago I heard from Elizabeth Irvine Bray, the author of the wonderful book about the jeweler Paul Flato, that the above book was in the process of being written. I was informed that the author lived in Taos, I had high hopes that she would have unique access to Millicent's family and papers. I hoped she would shed some light on some of my lingering questions about Millicent's jewelry.

I have been looking forward to it's publication, and was fortunate enough to find this advanced copy
 of Searching for Style: the Life of Millicent Rogers by Cherie Burns. 

The illustrations I have included here are not from the book.


 Millicent and Mary Rogers in a photo taken by
Van Day Truex  from Van Day Truex, by Adam Lewis

The story of Millicent Rogers family and her vast inherited wealth is well researched and well told.
Her life, relationships, and her fashion exploits are delightfully detailed, enhanced by interviews of living people who knew her.
Portrait by Louise Dahl-Wolfe 1940's
Image From architectural digest
About Millicent's  own jewelry...
Millicent clearly designed her own jewelry like the brooch she wears above.  I still remember the day I sculpted my first wax and actually went through the mini-foundry process of casting it into solid gold. This process is highly technical requiring multiple pieces of  large specialized equipment.

 
 portrait exhibited  in Paris in 2001, 
Millicent Rogers by Bernard Boutet de Monvel 
Image from the cataloge.

The casting process replaces the wax with solid metal.  Finishing this metal usually requires an entirely different set of skills and equipment to produce a  jewel. The above necklace looks like it is pure 24 karat gold which can be hand-burnished with a polished steel burnishing tool, without messy polishing equipment, all it would take is countless hours per bead.
I have no doubt Millicent  learned a lot from the various jewelers she knew over the years. Unfortunately for me the Chapter entitled Bangles and Baubles revealed no new information about Millicent's jewelry endeavors.

 From Vogue 1945, photograph by John Rawlings

Millicent wears a brooch like this one by Rene Boivin 1940's

Millicent Roger's  shell and diamond brooch by Verdura, 1940.

The chapters about Taos, New Mexico where Millicent settled towards the end of her life where very interesting and heart felt. 

I enjoyed the book, and recommend it.  I particularly enjoyed the postscript.

1 comment:

a. said...

I love the cover! Look forward to reading it.