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    MFA acquires starfish brooch once owned by Claudette Colbert

    Actress Claudette Colbert wearing the starfish brooch in Photoplay magazine, November 1939.
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Actress Claudette Colbert wearing the starfish brooch in Photoplay magazine, November 1939.

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston announced an acquisition on Monday: a gold, ruby, and amethyst starfish brooch once owned by Academy Award-winning actress Claudette Colbert. Designed by Juliette Moutard in 1935 and created by the Parisian house René Boivin in 1937, the brooch is the latest addition to the MFA’s collection of jewelry from the 20th century. 

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    The brooch

    Colbert bought the brooch, which features 71 rubies, two years after receiving the Academy Award for best actress for her work in “It Happened One Night.” According to the MFA, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood at the time. 

    “We’re thrilled to acquire one of the most important jewels that the house René Boivin ever produced,” Emily Stoehrer, the MFA’s Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry, said in a statement to the Globe. “This brooch tells a fascinating story of design in the early 20th century, including the central role played by women designers such as Juliette Moutard.” Lillian Brown

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    Lillian Brown can be reached at lillian.brown@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lilliangbrown.