The timeframe is early 1930s, the location the Jardin du Ranelagh in Paris; two Russian émigré mothers are enjoying a beautiful day as they watch their small children play, all the while happily conspiring together regarding the seemingly inevitable romance between their two children, Beatrice and Serge.
Beatrice Fabry was born in Paris in February of 1929, the daughter of Russian émigré parents, Jules and Bella Feldman. Her parents had fled the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, along with her two older siblings, Steve and Galla, all escaping with their lives and little else. The family name was later changed to the more French sounding Fabry. In 1933, when Beatrice was four years old, the family left Paris and moved to New York.
Although the family had lost their wealth when fleeing Russia, they never lost their love of culture and always made art a priority. Beatrice was raised on a steady diet of opera, ballet, art, languages, literature, and history. She developed a true passion and earned a degree in fine arts from Temple University.
Beatrice later married Robert Seligman and they started a family of their own. The family moved from New York to London in 1963 and then to Paris in 1967.
Once back in Paris, Beatrice re-connected with her childhood friend Serge Weissager, who family history tells was a jewelry designer and master artisan for Van Cleef & Arpels. According to the archives at Van Cleef & Arpels, designers who did design work for them were never credited. A reference work on Van Cleef & Arpels, however, does mention that the design house did employ Russian émigrés.
In Paris, Robert and Beatrice maintained their love of art and culture and had a number of close friends with whom they socialized with regularly. Beatrice dressed casually or formally, as the occasion warranted, and with her love of fine art she truly appreciated jewelry that was finely crafted, that were in themselves objects of art and beauty. She purchased some of her favorites from her old friend Serge Weissager.
The romance envisioned decades earlier by their parents never materialized, but their enduring friendship, respect and admiration were reflected in the aesthetics of the jewelry that he crafted, and that she treasured. Leland Little Auctions is proud to offer some of these pieces for your consideration at our upcoming Summer Catalogue Auction.