Cf. Sylvie Raulet, "Van Cleef & Arpels", Rizzoli, New York, 1987, page 143
Alfred Van Cleef, along with two of his brother-in-laws, Charles and Julien Arpels, opened their salon at Place Vendôme in 1906 and a few years later Louis Arpels joined the team. Their rapid success led them to open others in New York and also in chic holiday resorts like Nice and Monte Carlo. Moving with the times and fashions, Van Cleef & Arpels, created exquisite items exemplifying each period: the elegance of the Art Deco (see lot 454), the joy of the post-War (see lot 451) and the chicness of the cocktail era (see lot 458). The firm also revolutionised the jewellery world by its ability to not only create innovative and elegant jewels and objects but to also offer the finest gemstones (see lot 452). The minaudière, created by them in 1930, was a sleek gold or jewelled box with hidden compartments which held all the essentials for the well-dressed lady. And in 1935, the family introduced the "invisible setting". Van Cleef & Arpels also had the desire to sell affordable and wearable jewellery as well, so in the 1950s, the Boutique department was established. This shop focused on whimsical jewellery, including the "Chat malicieux" (lot 448), Zodiac pendants and floral items. In 1999, Van Cleef & Arpels was acquired by the Richemont Group and under the innovative management of Isabelle Guichot, the firm continues its tradition of elegant and wearable jewels. The following ten lots exemplify Van Cleef & Arpels traditions, high standards of quality and creativity.