When Actors Wore the Real Thing


Marlene Dietrich adjusts her ruby cuff in Hitchcock's "Stage Fright" thriller, 1950

Films today rely on special effects, animation, and AI to accomplish their spectacular appeal. But there was a time in mid-20th century that actors wore their own jaw-dropping jewels in films to thrill the audience. It worked because everyone knew they were getting a peek into the private collections of the stars.

The Star Cuff Makes is Debut---Again

We recall this today as one of these historically important jewels goes to auction. It's got provenance like nobody's bidnez. A fabulous ruby and diamond cuff bracelet that once belonged to Marlene Dietrich will find its way to the auction block this summer (2023) as part of the fabulous jewelry collection of socialite Anne Eisenhower. She was an astute collector acquiring some superb jewels. The cuff bracelet was made in 1937 by jeweler to the stars Louis Arpels.



Referred to as a modernist platinum cuff featuring "an exaggerated asymmetrical loop covered in cushion cut rubies set atop twin buckle-like bands of diamonds."  

Upstaging the Film

This large scale bracelet was unique for its time when fine jewelry was more delicately proportioned. But this extravagant piece fell into the category of art. Then it showed up on Marlene Dietrich's wrist in Alfred Hitchcock's 1950's Stage Fright, a  film intentionally shot in black and white so the dazzling red gemstones would not upstage the scene.



Anne Eisenhower in her grandparents (President and Mamie Eisenhower) home

A Prominent Collector's Treasure

Later on it came into the possession of renowned collector Anne Eisenhower, the granddaughter of WW2 era US President Ike Eisenhower. Christies Americas chairman Marc Porter said Anne had a keen eye for the finest examples of the jeweler's art.

Her collection is touring the US now and will make international stops before going on sale this June. The pedigreed bracelet's broad estimate ranges between $2.5M to $4.6M.


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