May 1959: “Looking like the back-seat driver of a flying saucer, Madelle Hegeler shows off weirdly striking jewelry by Salvadore Dali in New York. With a sculptured gold hand (l), real ruby lips with pearl teeth, an “Eye of Time” watch worn like a monocle, and a “Corset Ring,” she made a striking and widely circulated picture. But a lot of people wanted to know what Madelle looked like minus the spectacular jewels“.
Salvador Dali designed a series of jewels in the 1940’s and 50’s. The pieces were made up by the silversmith Carlos Alemany under the close supervision of the artist himself. As well as designing the jewels, Dali personally selected all the materials and precious stones used in each one. They were chosen not only for their quality and value, but for the symbolic meanings of each. In 1958 the Dali Jewel Collection was purchased by the Owen Cheatham Foundation and exhibited to raise money for various charitable organizations in the United States. The original pieces now reside at the Teatro-Museo in Dali’s hometown of Figueres, Spain. You can purchase reproductions of these designs from the museum’s website.