Emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpels' style and technical inventions, this ruby and diamond brooch and matching ear clips celebrates the art of the jeweler, 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 millimeter 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.
PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
A SET OF "MYSTERY SET" RUBY AND DIAMOND JEWELRY, BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Comprising a brooch, designed as a flower with calibré-cut ruby circular petals, with graduated baguette-cut diamond trim, each centering upon a bezel-set circular-cut diamond pistil, to the calibré-cut ruby leaves with baguette-cut diamond stems; and a pair of ear clips en suite, mounted in platinum and 18k gold, 1951, with French assay marks and maker's mark
Each signed Van Cleef & Arpels, brooch no. 64075, ear clips no. 64076 (2)