A Dazzling Exhibition Dedicated to Van Cleef’s Historic Jewels

  • Photo by Xavier CRESPIN/Van Cleef & Arpels
    Clip Columbiad Voyages Extraordinaires Photo by Xavier CRESPIN/Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Photo by Achilleos Billie
    Clip Chrysantheme Rouge Photo by Achilleos Billie
  • Photo (top) by Achilleos Billie
    Bracelets (Egyptien 1924 on top) Photo (top) by Achilleos Billie
  • Photos by Patrick Gries
    Bracelet Ludo Hexagone 1939 (left) and Clip Pivoine 1937 (right) Photos by Patrick Gries
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawing of Clip 1930s Gouache on Canson Paper Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawing of the Tourbillons (Whirls) Ring Circa 1948 Gouache on Canson Paper Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawings of Danseuse (Dancer) Clips 1940s Gouache on Paper Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawings of Danseuse (Dancer) Clips 1940s Gouache on Paper (detail) Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawing by René-Sim Lacaze for the End of 1939 Catalogue With a Preface by Paul Valéry. (This catalogue was never published.) Gouache on Paper. (detail) Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
    Drawing by René-Sim Lacaze for the End of 1939 Catalogue With a Preface by Paul Valéry. (This catalogue was never published.) Gouache on Paper. (detail) Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Minaudiere Volutes 1935
  • Exposition Des Arts Decoratifs 1925 - Van Cleef et Arpels, Page 41
  • Photos by Patrick Gries
    Dollier Art Deco (left) and a Masque (right) Photos by Patrick Gries
  • Photo by Xavier CRESPIN/Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Photo by Achilleos Billie
  • Photo (top) by Achilleos Billie
  • Photos by Patrick Gries
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
  • Photos by Patrick Gries

Renowned French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels was recognized for several design and technical innovations over the past century, and its glorious heritage is being celebrated with an elaborate exhibition that opens on September 20 at Les Arts Décoratifs, the museum of art and design at the Palais du Louvre in Paris. L’art de la Haute Joaillerie, which runs until February 10, 2013, features more than 400 prominent pieces that illustrate Van Cleef’s most influential contributions to the jewelry industry since its inception in 1906.

The exhibition includes a selection of period minaudières, the gold and jeweled bags conceived by Charles Arpels in 1935 to replace fabric evening bags. Other signature pieces include the 1937 Chrysanthemum clip, a ruby-and-diamond brooch set in 18-karat gold and platinum featuring the jeweler’s mystery setting—a technical achievement in which the stones are perfectly aligned in a concealed metal grid. Other key pieces include a bracelet that was awarded with a Grand Prix at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. The platinum bracelet—with diamond and ruby roses, and emerald leaves—is a prime example of Van Cleef’s signature flower theme. Another style (1924) features jeweled interpretations of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The jewels will be shown with archive documents and drawings in an exhibition designed by Paris-based architectural firm Jouin-Manku, who also designed the 2011 Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City. (877.826.2533, www.vancleef-arpels.com)

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