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A SUITE OF IMPRESSIVE CABOCHON EMERALD AND DIAMOND JEWELLERY, BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

Details
A SUITE OF IMPRESSIVE CABOCHON EMERALD AND DIAMOND JEWELLERY, BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Comprising a necklace, designed as a cabochon emerald and circular-cut diamond cluster band suspending a fringe of cabochon emerald and circular-cut diamond stylised palmettes; a bracelet and a pair of ear-pendants en suite, mounted in 18K gold, necklace 36.0 cm (7.50 cm. section is detachable); bracelet 17.0 cm., in a Van Cleef & Arpels grey suede fitted case, with French assay marks
Signed by Van Cleef & Arpels, nos. 22613, 19.300 and 21.673 (3)

Lot Essay

The following fourteen lots are a small collection containing a number of Van Cleef & Arpels jewels created in the 1970s and 1980s.

The great jewellery house of Van Cleef & Arpels has its origins in Amsterdam circa 1840 when Charles Van Cleef established himself as a lapidary. In 1867, he moved to Paris where he soon gained a reputation for making jewellery that somehow stood apart from that of other jewellers. It was in 1898 that his son Alfred married Estelle, daughter of Leon Arpels, beginning a long and successful partnership with Arpels family. Eight years later, in 1906, the firm moved to the centre for "Haute Joaillerie" in Paris, 22 Place Vendome. The shop immediately prospered and by 1912, they had a staff of fourteen. Obviously, with the advent of the First World War, work was minimal. However, after the war, the firm went from strength to strength, opening boutiques in many of the more important French resorts. Simultaneously with this expansion, Van Cleef & Arpels pioneered several new designs. The minaudiere appeared in 1930 and, more importantly, the "invisible setting" technique in 1935.

The business was curtailed in Europe during the Second World War, but continued unabated in America, where a branch was opened in Palm Beach in 1940. During the 1950s and 1960s, many of the worlds most glamorous women could be seen wearing the distinctive Van Cleef & Arpels jewels.

The luxury of the Orient is evident in the jewels of the early 1970s and this collection includes many good examples. Lot 813 typifies the extravagance of India with the use of cabochon emeralds, ogee shaped diamond fringes and two-stone drops. The naturalistic element in their design is well illustrated in Lot 800 that depicts a lion head pendant to a necklace and matching earclips, all generously covered with high quality diamonds. Another lot with openwork gold links and a textured surface is reminiscent of leopard skin. Other pieces include a very decorative multi-gem bracelet, a suite of diamond-set jewellery with obvious Oriental inspiration and another suite of diamonds and cabochon sapphires all set in yellow gold. In each case, the sheer quality and excellence of manufacture is clearly visible. The fashion of the early 1970s is captured in these lots that show so clearly why Van Cleef & Arpels is a jeweller of world renown.
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