Lot 301
  • 301

Diamond 'Magic Alhambra' Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, France

25,000 - 35,000 USD
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  • Van Cleef & Arpels
  • diamonds, platinum
Composed of 16 variously sized clover motifs pavé-set with round diamonds, length 49 inches, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered JB130165, with French assay and workshop marks.

Catalogue Note

Since its 1968 debut, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra necklace has become the emblem of the elite maison, favored by 'best dressed' list mainstays of past and present such as Princess Grace of Monaco and Françoise Hardy.  Adorned with quatrefoil motifs drawn from the royal splendor of Moorish architecture, the four-leaf charms double as symbols of luck, health, fortune, and love, and are crafted in a range of auspicious materials gathered from all over the world.  This diamond-set ‘Magic’ version—the most luxurious produced by Van Cleef & Arpels—is an essential piece in every stylish wardrobe.

This particularly sumptuous example truly carries the Alhambra’s lucky aura.  Seven years ago, the piece caught the eye of a fashionable lady rifling through a thrift shop; the necklace was assumed to be set with rhinestones or crystals, and was purchased for only $25.  Later, when her children inherited the necklace in a box of costume jewelry, they noticed a remarkably similar piece in a Van Cleef & Arpels advertisement.  Upon entrusting the necklace to Sotheby’s, the family was elated to discover the precious rarity of their quite lucky ‘Magic’ Alhambra necklace.

This design, and the fortunate story that accompanies it, serves as a reminder that jewels can be iconic not just for their appearance, but also for the emotions associated with wearing them.