New Orleans antique and vintage jewelry retailer M.S. Rau has its hands on a stunning Alexander Calder brass belt buckle that the famous artist designed for his close friend Florence Knoll-Bassett, the famed architect, interior designer, furniture designer, textile innovator and founder of the furniture company Knoll.
The buckle was made in 1946 out of solid brass (it’s approximately 6.75 x 4 inches in size) and is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation in New York. Over the decades it’s been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Gallery of Toronto, and in 1965 at the Musée National d’Art Moderne.
A Facebook post from the Calder Foundation detailed the artist’s relationship with Knoll, writing, “Calder met Knoll in the 1940s and went on to fashion three pieces of jewelry for her, including a brass belt buckle in the shape of a shoe—a nod to her nickname, “Shu” (her maiden name was Schust).” Interestingly, most of Calder’s jewelry was made for friends and typically gifted on momentous occasions: he gifted Cordelia Pond a fish and Frances Hawkins a hawk.
M.S. Rau is selling the “Shu” buckle for $74,000 online and in-store. And we’re inclined to think it’s worth every penny. —Ruby Baybei
Top: Brass one-off “Shu” belt buckle by Alexander Calder, circa 1946 (courtesy M.S. Rau)
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