One of the most challenging re-creative jewelry projects we ever worked on was the pendant for Greta Garbo in the movie Queen Christina. Greta Garbo in "Queen Christina"

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Here you can she her handmaid dressing Queen Christina… the pendant is placed on backward. The mistake was not caught and the scene never removed from the film. It was good for us because we now know what the back of the pendant looked like.

Catching glimpses of the pendant as the Queen’s handmaid helped her get dress in her gown was challenging to the say the least. We could see some shadows and flashes of light, but nothing we could really draw from. We reviewed a few existing black & white images from the studio’s archives, screen shots and carefully watch the movie over and over hoping to get a better idea of the design.

We decided that it was most likely a quatrefoil pendant and loosely based on 16th-17th century jewelry styles.  In our opinion and keeping with the movie industry at the time it was probably created for the film. Our re-created piece would reflect the historical time period and match the movie pendant as close as possible.

That was the start of a long and exciting design journey.

Great Garbo 113 After watching the film, I was given the opportunity to see this gorgeous gown in person. A trip to the The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design studio was next. The beadwork on this gown was spectacular. One could only image the costume designer, Adrian and his band of “beaders” working for hours and hours to complete this work of art. Larry McQueen, the costume collector had the gown restored, it is beautiful to say the least. He shared with me a fact that Greta Garbo was not fond of the gown, due to its weight, together the beadwork and velvet weighed 65 pounds.

Next step was to start our jewelry historical research at the library at GIA in Carlsbad, CA.

KLH

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From: The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

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Please continue reading about this design process. See the list of available posts below.