1796
1796

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

An Important Ruby and Diamond Brooch, 'Bellflowers', Van Cleef & Arpels, 1960s
Estimate
3,200,0004,800,000
LOT SOLD. 3,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
1796

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

An Important Ruby and Diamond Brooch, 'Bellflowers', Van Cleef & Arpels, 1960s
Estimate
3,200,0004,800,000
LOT SOLD. 3,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite

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Hong Kong

An Important Ruby and Diamond Brooch, 'Bellflowers', Van Cleef & Arpels, 1960s
Designed as a pair of blooming bellflowers, the petals mystery-set with calibré-cut rubies, one embellished with pavé-set diamonds and the other with calibré-cut diamonds, to the baguette diamond stems with marquise-shaped diamond leaves and sepals, mounted in platinum and 18 karat yellow gold, maker's marks for Van Cleef & Arpels, French assay marks, three rubies deficient.
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Literature

Cf.: Xavier Barral, The Art & Science of Gems: Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, 2016, pg. 178, for an illustration of a brooch of similar design, dated 1969.

Catalogue Note

A BELLFLOWER'S MYSTIQUE

Patented in 1933, the Mystery Set™ technique remained one of the most unique inventions by Van Cleef & Arpels. Created by setting each stone in such a way that no prongs are visible, the level of expertise required to make Mystery Set™ is reserved for an exclusive realm of a small number of master jewelers. By faceting each stone to fit extremely narrow gold rails, no thicker than 0.2mm, the gems when mounted would look free of any metal settings that hold them in place. However, this technique requires intense precision with immense patience, to create three dimensional jewels within complex designs.

This unusual bellflower clip brooch offered in Lot 1796 by Van Cleef & Arpels is a child of the 1960s, depicting two delicate bellflowers in bloom using the Mystery Setting™. An exceptionally rare jewel that illustrates the craftsmanship of the Maison, the design for the brooch was published in the 1963 issue of L’Officiel de la Couture et de la Mode de Paris, along with other bejeweled clips from esteemed brands of the time. During this period, the decorative arts enjoyed liberating freedom into alternative forms and colours. In jewellery, there was a classical movement which embraced beauty found in natural elements of birds and flowers. These themes inspired by flora and fauna would often be embellished with precious gems, such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies.

The 1960s was a fabulous decade for Van Cleef & Arpels – in 1967, the Maison was commissioned to create a coronation crown for the Empress Farah Palavi, as well as jewels for the Shah’s family. This was one of the most prestigious special orders in the history of Van Cleef & Arpels, affirming the global reputation of the Maison.  Throughout the decade, Van Cleef & Arpels created captivating bejeweled flowers modeled after blossoms of daisies, camellias, fuchsias, and bellflowers. Records also show that these flower themed jewels from the Maison were well received by style mavens of the time.  Maria Callas, the legendary Greek soprano, was captured on multiple occasions wearing a now-iconic floral clip by the Maison, bejewelled with diamonds and rubies, gracefully accenting long, elegant dresses.

Lot 1796 epitomizes timeless beauty with floral motif, accentuated by the legendary the Mystery Set™ technique. A similar clip of bellflowers made in 1969, set with sapphires - part of the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection, is illustrated in The Art & Science of Gems: Van Cleef & Arpels. This bejeweled brooch would be a cherished addition to any discerning connoisseur’s collection.

Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite

|
Hong Kong