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Van Cleef and Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels (France)
Van Cleef & Arpels (France)

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 jewelry whose primary aim was the display of wealth and opulence, Van Cleef & Arpels sought to produce pieces that projected the wearer’s taste and style — winning the house a roster of dedicated, fashion-conscious clients that included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, Jacqueline Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor.


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 firm distinguished itself with both the consistency of the color and clarity of its stones and the creativity of its designs. 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.


Iconic Designs from Van Cleef & Arpels
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Vintage Alhambra Necklace
Vintage Alhambra Necklace
Magic Alhambra Necklace
Magic Alhambra Necklace
Interplay of Gold and Stones
Interplay of Gold and Stones
Magic Alhambra Ring
Magic Alhambra Ring
Applied Filters8 results
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Van Cleef & Arpels Paris Vintage Limited Edition 18 Carat Gold Tresse Bracelet
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
An articulated Van Cleef & Arpels Paris vintage limited edition 18 carat gold tresse bracelet With open-worked and interlaced ribbons design Signed Van Cleef & Arpels and Numbered ...
Category

1980s French Modern Vintage Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Library or Coffee Table Book, circa 1990s
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
A small, very beautiful library or coffee table book from French luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1990s. In French language. This small hard-cover book (with dust-jacket) cap...
Category

1990s French Art Deco Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Paper

1950s French Yellow Gold and Diamond Box by Van Cleef & Arpels
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne
An exceptional, fine and impressive vintage French 18-karat yellow gold box by Van Cleef & Arpels; an addition to our diverse ornamental collection. This exceptional vintage French ...
Category

1950s French Vintage Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Gold

Vintage 1950s French Yellow Gold and Diamond Scent Bottle by Van Cleef & Arpels
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne
An exceptional, fine and impressive vintage French 18-karat yellow gold and platinum set diamond scent bottle by Van Cleef & Arpels; an addition to our diverse ornamental collection....
Category

1950s French Vintage Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Gold

Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry Library or Coffee Table Book
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
The very beautiful "Reflections of Eternity" jewelry library or coffee table book, published to mark the Centenary of Van Cleef & Arpels (VCA.) This book reveals the philosophy and t...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Modern Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Paper

French Gold and Enamel Vanity Case, Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1930
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in London, London
Antique early 20th century, French 18-karat gold and enamel compact with a suspended lipstick holder, of rectangular shape, decorated throughout with stylized art deco, geometrical d...
Category

1920s French Art Deco Vintage Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Gold, Enamel

Van Cleef & Arpels French Perfume Vanity Bottle
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful vintage Van Cleef & Arpels 'First' French perfume glass vanity bottle, circa 1970s, France. Marked "Made in France" on bottom as show in image #6. No chips noted. 'First'...
Category

20th Century French Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Glass

Modern Travelling Clock by Van Cleef & Arpels Foldable in Case and Original Box
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Zurich, CH
Modern travelling clock by Van Cleef & Arpels foldable in case and original box.
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Van Cleef and Arpels

Materials

Acrylic

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