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Van Cleef & Arpels

One of the world’s foremost jewelry houses, Van Cleef & Arpels is particularly noted for a focus on technical virtuosity, craftsmanship and artistry, evident since its beginning. Rather than create earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other adornments primarily for the aim of displaying of wealth and opulence, Van Cleef & Arpels sought to produce jewelry that projected the wearer’s taste and style.

The company was formed a year after the 1895 marriage of Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a gem cutter, to Estelle Arpels, daughter of precious-stones dealer Salomon Arpel. Ten years later, Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris, setting the march on a square now crowded with dealers in bijouterie. (The company still occupies the New York flagship store opened in 1939 at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.)

Born from a union of expertise in both jewelry making and gem selection, the Van Cleef & Arpels distinguished itself with both the consistency of the color and clarity of its stones and the creativity of its designs. In doing so, the house would win a roster of dedicated, fashion-conscious clients that included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, Jacqueline Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1933, Van Cleef & Arpels patented its trademark Mystery Setting — a technique by which gems are fitted into an intricate matrix of slots and “drawers” that keep the setting hidden. Another signal innovation was the Zip necklace, introduced in 1951, which can be worn either around the neck or, with the zipper closed, as a bracelet.

But as much as to the firm’s craftsmanship, clients have been drawn by the insouciance and playfulness of Van Cleef & Arpels designers, as well as their attunement to the cultural climate. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, the company produced several lavish pieces featuring hieroglyphics and other Egyptian motifs to go along with the geometric Art Deco jewelry of that decade and the next. Following World War II, as symbols of freedom and rebirth, the firm focused on naturalistic forms such as birds, flowers, fruit and flying insects. High society’s 1960s fascination with the Near East and India prompted such pieces as the best-selling Alhambra necklace, popularized by Princess Grace.

Lately, attention among collectors and connoisseurs has centered on Van Cleef & Arpels’s quality of workmanship as much as its glamour. The firm was the subject of a 2012 show at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as well as exhibitions at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 2013 and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014.

Find an exquisite collection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Gold Lighter
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Rare 1970s Dunhill for Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Gold gas lighter. Features a woven basket pattern, new flint and flip top. Stamped Dunhill/ Van Cleef & Arpels, serial number 100247 and...
Category

1970s Van Cleef & Arpels

Designer Rare Van Cleef Arpels Style Jeweled Bag Clutch
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
Designer Rare Van Cleef Arpels Style Jeweled Bag Clutch Due to the item's age do not expect items to be in perfect condition and I may not describe every little scratch or spot. Ple...
Category

20th Century Unknown Van Cleef & Arpels

Designer Rare Van Cleef Arpels Style Jeweled Bag Clutch
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
Designer Rare Van Cleef Arpels Style Jeweled Bag Clutch Due to the item's age do not expect items to be in perfect condition and I may not describe every little scratch or spot. Ple...
Category

20th Century Unknown Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels 18k Gold & White Diamond Case
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Rare and beautiful 1950s -60s Van Cleef & Arpels 18K 750 Gold case. Features a woven basket pattern with White Diamonds encrusted clasp. Total weight 136 grams Interior features a...
Category

1950s Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels One Single 18K Gold Sweet Alhambra Single Mother of Pearl Ear
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Dix hills, NY
Van Cleef & Arpels One Single 18K Gold Sweet Alhambra Single Mother of Pearl Earring 1V21 VERY GOOD CONDITION (8/10 or AB) Includes Box Main Color : Gold Sub Color : Whites Main S...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels One Single 18K Gold Sweet Alhambra Single Mother of Pearl Ear
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in Dix hills, NY
Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Gold Sweet Alhambra Single Mother of Pearl Earring 1V21 VERY GOOD CONDITION (8/10 or AB) Includes Box Main Color : Gold Sub Color : Whites Main Stone : Othe...
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21st Century and Contemporary Van Cleef & Arpels

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Reserved Sale Pending Van Cleef & Arpels Paris Sleek Chrome Vanity Tray
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Van Cleef & Arpels fashion for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers an extraordinary range of authentic Van Cleef & Arpels fashion. Customers interested in this designer might also find the work of Lesage, Baccarat and Napier appealing.. 1stDibs features haute couture, vintage and designer Van Cleef & Arpels fashion from top boutiques around the world. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $8,200 and tops out at $9,000, while the average work can sell for $8,600..

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Questions About Van Cleef & Arpels
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Van Cleef & Arpels is so expensive because it is a well-known company that has a fantastic reputation. Van Cleef & Arpels are universally renowned for high quality jewelry with a focus on detail. High-profile fans of the French jewelry house over the years have included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and many more. Find an extraordinary range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    In Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, the red stone is usually Brazilian carnelian, a type of semiprecious gemstone that typically comes from Greece and Asia. The luxury jewelry brand uses the stone in it’s Bouton d’or and Alhambra collections. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The brand Van Cleef & Arpels is a well-known luxury jewelry and watchmaking company. Founded in 1896, the company was known for their timeless style and luxe jewels. In 1968 their Alhambra collection featured a four-leaf clover shape and suddenly that became the symbol for the brand. Shop a collection of expertly vetted vintage and new Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The term Van Cleef Alhambra means a piece produced by the company Van Cleef & Arpels that features one or more four-leaf clover shapes. It is one of the most notable motifs used by the French jewelry house. Find a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Deciding if a Van Cleef & Arpels watch is worth the investment is really a matter of preference. The brand is a very well respected luxury brand that comes with a high price tag due to its history of quality, flawless gemstones, impeccable style and elegance. You’ll find a range of quality watches by Van Cleef and others on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Van Cleef & Arpels typically uses 18-karat gold. This precious metal is roughly 75 percent pure gold and is the type most commonly used to produce luxury jewelry. You can find a selection of Van Cleef & Arpels gold jewelry on 1stDibs.

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