Cited for her “elegance in an era of bling” Dana Kraus founded DK Farnum Estate Jewelry after years selling and marketing luxury goods while in magazine management at Gourmet, Elle and other upscale national magazines. Also called “an arbiter of style”, she specializes in signed, one-of–a-kind 20th century estate jewelry by such iconic designers as Verdura, Van Cleef, David Webb, Angela Cummings, Schlumberger, Seaman Schepps, Buccellati, Tiffany, Cartier, Belperron and Boivin.
A Manhattan native, Ms. Kraus opted for a class taught by Rosamund Bernier at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (while she was at The Brearley School) rather than drivers education (…she learned how to drive while her eldest son was a baby in the backseat years later). The decorative arts have always colored her career choices and taste preferences. She gravitates to jewelry designed in the 40s, 50s and 60s as styles emerged from war-era constrictions and set the stage for creative freedom, clean lines and modern interpretation.
After Smith College, studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and the GIA as well as extensive travel, Dana decided to parlay her professional experience, training, passion as a collector and contacts into a business that brings visual stimulation to a discerning clientele; gratification to collectors.
Her philosophy has always been to focus on what works for the individual, regardless of trends. That “chic” is finding one’s own style, one that is comfortable. Dana encourages clients to mix it up; to wear costume/couture pieces by Hermes, Chanel, Canovas, Goossens, Moini with haute couture. To wear a Sterle brooch with a casual Armani jacket and jeans. A Lalanne pendant on a simple black Balenciaga dress with no other adornment. She encourages women to collect men’s vintage strap watches by Patek Philippe and Rolex. And men to understand what they are buying, designers to use jewelry as objets.
A typical DK Farnum show will feature a 1940s Lalique necklace next to a pair of Seaman Schepps 1950s earrings (both under $2,300), one-off starfish brooches with semi-precious stones for $450, sterling paste Diamonbar bracelets for $800 and a rare Belperron gold and diamond ring for $135,000.
“As she talks about the individual pieces, her all-business attitude is replaced by the expert’s eye, not unmingled with the passion of the collector.” A recent reporter said of the collection “It’s the sheer elegance of the pieces that can be overwhelming. It’s as though a young Grace Kelly might walk in and say ‘darling I need something for tonight.’
DK Farnum demystifies the process and makes beauty accessible.
DK Farnum does styling for individuals and the press, we appraise, advise and research. Styling projects have ranged from dressing for the Oscars to the Nobel Prize. Her research for clients has ranged from Fahrner to Berlin Iron to Boivin. We work with Christies, Sotheby’s and other auction houses.