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Watches Jewellery How Van Cleef & Arpels Became A Master In Creating The Finest Jewellery In The World

How Van Cleef & Arpels Became A Master In Creating The Finest Jewellery In The World

Van Cleef & Arpels' iconic boutique at 22 Place Vendôme
Van Cleef & Arpels' iconic boutique at 22 Place Vendôme
By Zue Wei Leong
By Zue Wei Leong
February 03, 2021
Join us as we explore the maison's bejewelled history and their quest for timeless beauty

A stone’s throw away from Jardin des Tuileries, Van Cleef & Arpels’s first boutique stands as a timeless emblem of luxury and elegance at this iconic Parisian address—22 Place Vendôme. Born from a love story between Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a dealer in precious stones and Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a lapidary and diamond broker, it could be said that the maison was destined for the journey of exceptional beauty, fine craftsmanship and the wondrous romance that followed.

See also: Van Cleef & Arpels' Frivole Jewellery Captures Nature's Beauty In Full Bloom

Elegance in Innovation

Renée Puissant, daughter of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef
Renée Puissant, daughter of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef

To this day, Van Cleef & Arpels is known for their poetic blend of pioneering designs, time-perfected techniques and understated elegance. However, it was in the 1930s when Van Cleef & Arpels began building its repertoire of elegant innovations under the helm of the founding couple’s visionary daughter, Renée Puissant as creative director.

In this era of renaissance, the maison presented to the world their Mystery Set. Ingenious and inspiring, this technique set precious stones in a way that concealed any prongs underneath and has been at the heart of Van Cleef & Arpels’s signature pieces, whether it is rubies on the curling petal of a chrysanthemum or sapphires framing a sleek, modern timepiece. Since then, the maison’s reputation as masters of the craft was cemented in history.

See also: Discover The Dance of Elegance with Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewellery

Chrysanthemum clip with rubies, 1937
Feuille de Marronnier clip, 1952
Maria Callas Cinq feuilles clip with diamonds and rubies, 1967
 

An Embodiment of Romance

Sketches for the diamond necklace for Queen Nazli of Egypt, 1939
Sketches for the diamond necklace for Queen Nazli of Egypt, 1939
Diamond necklace for Queen Nazli of Egypt, 1939
Diamond necklace for Queen Nazli of Egypt, 1939

Van Cleef & Arpels embodies the spirit of romance, which was infused into the brand from the union of their founders. The mid-20th century, in particular, saw the maison as a supporting character in more than one fairy tale weddings, gracing the iconic collections of Princess Fawzia and Queen Nazli of Egypt as well as Grace Kelly, American actress turned Princess of Monaco.

With their intricately crafted pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels continues to exude an undeniable femininity and enchanting romance—a constant vision through all its collections, from time-perfected classics to modern recreations.

Related: A Parisian Romance With Van Cleef & Arpels' Charms Extraordinaire

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