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Friday, March 11, 2011

Gloria Swanson Diamond Ring Up for Auction by Christie’s Paris

Christie’s Jewels Department is offering a 5.1-ct. rectangular-cut diamond ring that belonged to actress Gloria Swanson. The ring is expected to fetch €70,000 - €100,000 ($97,300 - $139,100) at the May 23 auction in Paris.

Swanson was a superstar of the silent movies and critically acclaimed for her role in the Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard (1950). By the mid-1920s Swanson was the highest paid actress in Hollywood. It was reported that she made and spent over $8 million. Her studio contract required her to wear the latest clothes and jewelry whenever she appeared in public, at her own expense. Gloria’s personal taste in jewelry was so extravagant that she hardly needed this directive; it is believed that her annual jewelry budget was $500,000, Christie’s says. Sometimes credited with starting the fashion for wearing colorful jewelry, she wore an important emeralds, amethyst and gold necklace by Paul Iribe in the movie Affairs of Anatole (1922).

Swanson was always chosen to play the typical sentimental lady; a role which was very fashionable at the time. Her first important role was in Don’t Change Your Husband, 1919, by Cecil B. DeMille. She played six roles in as many movies directed by DeMille, all of which were hugely successful.

In 1925, Swanson was in France to play in Madame Sans-Gêne, a movie directed by Léonce Perret, her third husband’s friend, the marquis Henry de la Falaise.

She went on to become a producer and her second movie, Sadie Thompson (1928), in which she plays the main character, became a commercial success resulting in her first nomination as best actress. Swanson earned a total of three academy award nominations during her career.

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