Street Photography: Icons of New York

In my last post, I featured a photograph of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Across the street, a half block away, I came across an elaborately ornate entrance. The black gate appeared to be of iron and it was decorated with – if I counted correctly – 96 of these yellow-gold rosettes. As usual, I had a train to catch and could not linger very long to even find out where this impressive gateway was leading to.

It turns out that it was a store – the flagship location of Harry Winston. Winton (1896-1978) was an American jeweler who founded his store in 1932. Although his name is not familiar to me, it is likely that I have read it or heard it at some point. It was Winston who owned and then donated the famed Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. If you ever heard Marilyn Monroe sing Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend in the 1963 musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, listen to it again. You will hear the name Harry Winston mentioned in the lyrics.

It seems that the rosettes on the gate to his store have become prominent in their own right. The store sells bracelets and pendants as well as diamond rings and earrings in your choice of platinum, yellow gold, or rose gold – all featuring the rosette as its motif.

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Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing).

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