Cf. Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris-Museés, 1992, p. 159 Fig. 299 for a similar zip necklace/bracelet dated 1951
Cf. M. Petit, Van Cleef & Arpels, Reflections of Eternity, Editions Cercle d'Art, Paris, 2006, Fig. 208, 209 for a similar zip necklace/bracelet dated 1954
Cf. S. D. Coffin, Set in Style The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels,Thames & Hudson, London, 2012, p. 36 for a similar zip necklace/bracelet dated 1952
One of the most innovative jewels ever created, the 'Zip' necklace is a truly iconic Van Cleef & Arpels design.
Legend has it that during the 1930s the Duchess of Windsor, a loyal customer of the Maison, asked Renée Puissant, daughter of Alfred Van Cleef and Creative Director between 1926-1942, to create a jewelled zip fastener to wear with her evening gowns. Thus began the complicated design process that would take many years to come to fruition. Although the patent was registered in 1938, it was not before the end of the Second World War that the first 'Zip' necklace was finally produced. Capturing the spirit of the time and the 'Couture' style of the 1950s, the 'Zip' necklace was not only a beautiful and versatile jewel, but also a staggering technical achievement. The upper part of the necklace can be detached, the remaining section then 'zipped up' to form a bracelet, the gold thread tassel hanging from one side.
Very few of these complex and versatile jewels were made during the 1950s, and therefore rarely appear for sale on the open market. In 2011 Van Cleef & Arpels launched a new collection of modern 'Zip' necklaces in celebration of this incredible piece of bejewelled engineering.