Suzanne Belperron

Suzanne Belperron (1900–1983), born in Saint-Claude, France, was an influential 20th-century jewellery designer based in Paris. She worked for the Boivin and Herz jewellery houses before the outbreak of World War II. Subsequently, she took over the Herz company, renaming it Herz-Belperron. Belperron had many important clients, from royalty, arts and showbusiness on both sides of the Atlantic.

Madeleine Suzanne Marie Claire Vuillerme, daughter of merchant Jules Alix Vuillerme (1861–1913) and Marie Clarisse Faustine Bailly-Maître (1866–1931), was born 26 Sep 1900[citation needed] in the town of Saint-Claude, in Jura Mountains (eastern France), 60 kilometres from Geneva (Switzerland).

To fill the long winter months, the inhabitants of the Jura region had developed over the centuries a wide array of traditional crafts, including the art of cutting stones. The town of Saint-Claude was also, between 1885 and 1929, one of the most important world centres of diamonds cutting.

Aware of Suzanne's talent as a designer, her mother encouraged her by enrolling her in the School of Fine Arts in the town of Besançon. This public school was created in 1773 by the Swiss painter Melchior Wirsch and the French sculptor Luc Breton.

Suzanne Vuillerme won first prize in the "Decorative Art" annual competition of 1918, with a pendant-watch. That prize was the reward for her years of study in "Watch-making and Jewelry Decoration".

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