Emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpels style and technical inventions, this 'Pavot' brooch celebrates the art of the jeweller, showcasing their famous 'Mystery Setting'.
The secret behind the 'Mystery Setting' is a delicate lattice of gold or platinum 'threads', each less than two tenths of a millimetre in diameter. The calibré-cut gemstones are selected according to very strict criteria, as they have to fit precisely into where they will be placed. A special groove is cut into the stones and they are 'threaded' onto the lattice. Each gem takes about 90 minutes in preparation, and the lapidary can spend hundreds, even thousands of hours creating just one single jewel. Once the gems are set, the lattice is perfectly covered with gemstones. Both the preparation of the lattice and the stones require incredible skill and dexterity - the few experts qualified to do this kind of work are known as 'grandes mains' by their colleagues.
For a similar piece please see:
Van Cleef & Arpels, Editions Paris-Musés, Paris, 1992, page 162
For a sapphire and diamond similar piece please see:
Sylvie Raulet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Editions du Regard, Paris, 1986, page 208