Van Cleef & Arpels Pays Hommage To The Delicate Beauty Of Flowers
For Van Cleef & Arpels, the ephemeral beauty of nature has always been the orbital point of their creations. From the emblematic Alhambra motif popular since the late '80s to feminine jewelled butterflies and fairies, the Maison presents its latest novelties as an hommage to the delicate charms of fresh, blossoming flowers. In spirit of the occasion, Tatler Thailand looks back on the Maison's key pieces throughout history that encapsulate the freshness and vivacity of nature.
The deep velvety red of the peony is emphasised with a foliage of brilliant white diamonds in Van Cleef & Arpels' Pivoine clip. The invisible pavé technique also known as the Mystery Set used on the petals is a tell-tale sign of Maison's triumph over technical virtuosity. Essentially, The Pivoine is a set of two clips, one featuring a closing flower and another opening. Created in 1937, the closing Pivoine clip is amongst the masterpieces in Van Cleef & Arpels' private collection. The exceptional clip, as pictured above, is set with 640 pieces of rubies weighing 95 carats and 239 diamonds of 29.72 carats.
Patented in 1933, the Mystery Set was a technique developed by the Maison to present gems at their most stunning. The technique requires masterful hands of Van Cleef & Arpels' craftsmen. Because of the aptitude needed, only superior hand-selected gems of specific colour intensity, shape and size are worthy of the setting style.
The Pivoine was purchased in 1946 by Mahmoud Fakhry Pacha, the Egyptian ambassador in Paris, probably as a gift for HRH Princess Faiza, the sister of HM King Farouk.
Another creation, the 1937 Chrysanthème clip, also has its petals set with the iconic Mystery Set. Adorned with 140 carats of rubies and 10.89 carats of white diamond volutes, a platinum and yellow gold setting is hidden under the petals. Associated with autumn, the chrysanthemum symbolises happiness and vitality due to its ability to bloom in frosty climate. The Chinese honour the flower as the most virtuous because, despite the dirt that it sprouts from, its blossoms are pure and untainted by the environment.
Pétale de Papillon, a real treat for detail-lovers with sharp eyes, the jewelled piece holds an intricate mechanism allowing a petal to be lowered to release a delicate butterfly from the mother piece. The buterfly can be worn alone as a clip or inserted back into the golden petals.
The Pétale de Papillon, apart from its humour, is remarkable with intense hues. The petals are set with fancy yellow and mauve sapphires, while the stem of diamonds is tipped with a single pear-shaped cut diamond. The greens on the leaf are from verdant emeralds and tsavorites. The body of the butterfly, however, is decorated with black onyx and purple sugilite.
The last creation is Marguerite Secrète watch, inspired by Maison's creation from the 1920s. Featuring the springtime daisy, the 12mm diameter watch is stud with white diamonds and yellow sapphires. The sunny capitulum reveals a golden dial covered in diamonds. Adhering to the Maison's tradition of transformable creations, the watch can be detached from its black grosgrain strap with golden pin and attached to the foliage of yellow gold, to be worn as a pin.
Visit vancleefarpels.com to discover more creations from the Maison.