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Van Cleef & Arpels

One of the world’s foremost jewelry houses, Van Cleef & Arpels is particularly noted for a focus on technical virtuosity, craftsmanship and artistry, evident since its beginning. Rather than create earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other adornments primarily for the aim of displaying of wealth and opulence, Van Cleef & Arpels sought to produce jewelry that projected the wearer’s taste and style.

The company was formed a year after the 1895 marriage of Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a gem cutter, to Estelle Arpels, daughter of precious-stones dealer Salomon Arpel. Ten years later, Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris, setting the march on a square now crowded with dealers in bijouterie. (The company still occupies the New York flagship store opened in 1939 at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.)

Born from a union of expertise in both jewelry making and gem selection, the Van Cleef & Arpels distinguished itself with both the consistency of the color and clarity of its stones and the creativity of its designs. In doing so, the house would win a roster of dedicated, fashion-conscious clients that included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, Jacqueline Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1933, Van Cleef & Arpels patented its trademark Mystery Setting — a technique by which gems are fitted into an intricate matrix of slots and “drawers” that keep the setting hidden. Another signal innovation was the Zip necklace, introduced in 1951, which can be worn either around the neck or, with the zipper closed, as a bracelet.

But as much as to the firm’s craftsmanship, clients have been drawn by the insouciance and playfulness of Van Cleef & Arpels designers, as well as their attunement to the cultural climate. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, the company produced several lavish pieces featuring hieroglyphics and other Egyptian motifs to go along with the geometric Art Deco jewelry of that decade and the next. Following World War II, as symbols of freedom and rebirth, the firm focused on naturalistic forms such as birds, flowers, fruit and flying insects. High society’s 1960s fascination with the Near East and India prompted such pieces as the best-selling Alhambra necklace, popularized by Princess Grace.

Lately, attention among collectors and connoisseurs has centered on Van Cleef & Arpels’s quality of workmanship as much as its glamour. The firm was the subject of a 2012 show at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as well as exhibitions at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 2013 and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014.

Find an exquisite collection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
US$10,715
Styles
Iconic Designs from Van Cleef & Arpels
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Vintage Alhambra Ring
Vintage Alhambra Ring
Vintage Alhambra Necklace
Vintage Alhambra Necklace
Vintage Alhambra Pendant
Vintage Alhambra Pendant
Fleurette Ring
Fleurette Ring
Van Cleef & Arpels Ruby Diamond Yellow Gold Fleurette Flower Pendant Necklace
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Holland, PA
18k Yellow Gold Diamond And Ruby Fleurette Flower Pendant Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels. With 113 diamonds, VS1 Clarity, G Color. Total Diamond Weight approx. 1.00ctw. 3 Ruby st...
Category

1980s Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Diamond, Ruby, Yellow Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Gold Necklace
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Diamond Gold Necklace 1970s 18k yellow gold necklace, set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, signed Van Cleef & Arpels. total diamond carat weight is approx. – 25....
Category

1970s Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Diamond, Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Gold Vintage Alhambra Necklace VCARN9T100
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in London, GB
A beautiful 18k rose gold Vintage Alhambra necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels. The necklace features 10 rose gold clover motifs with a beaded border. The necklace measures 16 inches in l...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

18k Gold, Rose Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Diamonds Rose Gold Bracelet, Extra Small Model
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
Authentic Van Cleef & Arpels 'Perlée Diamonds' bracelet crafted in 18 karat rose gold features a single row of high-quality round brilliant cut diamonds weighing an estimated 1.94 ca...
Category

2010s Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold, Rose Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra Yellow Gold and Onyx Necklace
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
Authentic Van Cleef & Arpels 'Vintage Alhambra' pendant necklace crafted in 18 karat yellow gold features a single Onyx clover-inspired motif. The adjustable chain measures 16 1/2 in...
Category

2010s Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Onyx, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Lapis Lazuli Yellow Gold Butterfly Pendant Necklace
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
This iconic Van Cleef & Arpels necklace is crafted in 18k yellow gold and features a butterfly shaped pendant suspended from a link chain and accented with blue lapis lazuli wings an...
Category

1970s Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Diamond, Lapis Lazuli, Yellow Gold

Floral Citrine Earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New Orleans, LA
Citrine flowers bloom in these stunning clip earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels. The faceted citrines, weighing a total of approximately 8.00 carats, display a rich shade of amber, while...
Category

20th Century Modern Van Cleef & Arpels

Materials

Citrine, Blue Sapphire, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra Carnelian 18K Diamond Ring Size EU 52
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
The Alhambra creations from Van Cleef & Arpels have been bringing classic style to women around the world since 2007, and to this day, they are highly coveted. On the shank sits a be...
Category

2010s Contemporary Van Cleef & Arpels

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Questions About Van Cleef & Arpels
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Van Cleef & Arpels is so expensive because it is a well-known company that has a fantastic reputation. Van Cleef & Arpels are universally renowned for high quality jewelry with a focus on detail. High-profile fans of the French jewelry house over the years have included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and many more. Find an extraordinary range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.