Van Cleef & Arpels was formed through the collaboration of Alfred Van Cleef (1873-1938), who came from a long line of diamond dealers, and his two brothers in-law, Charles Arpels (1880-1951) and Julien Arpels (1884-1964). Begun in 1898 in Paris, the firm had achieved substantial renown by 1906 when it moved to the prominent address of 22 Place Vendôme.
Among the iconic innovations of Van Cleef & Arpels are the Minaudière, a jewelled evening case appointed with meticulously fitted accessories, as well as the unique technique of invisible settings which was patented in Paris in 1933 and first appeared in New York around 1935. The famous Zip necklace became the most fashionable ornament of the 1940s and 1905s and one of the most distinctive jewels ever produced. Designed as a proper zip fastener, it was adorned with a tassel of gold threads that could be pulled up to fasten it and transform it into a bracelet.
Under the second generation, the sons of Julien Arpels, the Boutique was opened in 1954 in Paris and 1957 in New York. Aimed at the younger generation, the Boutique, next door to the main shop, offered high quality and more affordable jewels. The innovation proved to be successful, and animal jewels such as the Chat ‘Malicieux’ and the Lion ébouriffé were introduced.
The jewellery house still continues to excel in setting the most precious gemstones into harmonious shapes and lines along with classical jewels. We are delighted to present a fine selection of pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels from an Important Private Collection in our 22 October auction of Select Jewellery & Watches.
Lyon & Turnbull's team of jewellery specialists’ extensive knowledge and experience of the current market provides the essential combination for the successful sales of both modern and antique jewellery; from fine Edwardian and Victorian pearls, through classic diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds from the houses of Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari and Tiffany, all the way to the outrageously decadent designs of Grima and the understated, elegant works of Jensen.
Take the first step to selling your jewellery at auction with a free, no-obligation, sales valuation. Contact our team in Edinburgh on 0131 557 8844 and in London on 0207 930 9115.