Kathleen Lynagh Jewelry Design
Custom Jewelry Designer and Maker in San Diego

Designing jewelry for film, TV & costume industry

Our blog for designing recreated jewelry for film, TV & costume industry

Jewelry in Films

Greta Garbo's Pendant | Film Classic "Queen Christina"

How do you take a simple black & white still from a classic film & bring back to life what was once seen on the big screen?

Greta Garbo as Queen Christina

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 and her ladies. One can clearly see that her lady in waiting is mistakingly adding the pendant on backwards.

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.

Greta Garbo getting dress and chatting with her handmaiden

We decided that it was most likely a quatrefoil pendant and loosely based on 16th-17th century jewelry styles from the time of Queen Christina.  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.

Greta Garbo gown on display while the Queen of Sweden visits the exhibit.

Greta Garbo gown on display while the Queen of Sweden visits the exhibit.

Working with the Costume

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.

We actually were able to see the gown in person. We use the opportunity to measure the collar to determine the size of the pendant. It was the only way to determine what it could be - there were no records.

Here is a close-up of hem from Greta Garbo's costume. The gown weighed 65 pounds. This gown is a true testament to what a costume designer’s team can create.