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Van Cleef & Arpels

In 1895 a marriage between Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef was more than just a marriage of two people, but the beginning of a substantial brand that would forever represent beauty, love, grace and opulence. An enchanting love story began in 1906 when they joined the most prestigious real estate in Paris, Place Vendome; and set up their new venture Van Cleef & Arpels. Their new view was across from the sumptuous Hotel Ritz was a prime location as they attracted many prosperous travelers from all over the world. Attracting a new clientele meant new opportunities. Special orders of all sorts were taken; any desired jewel compilation could be delivered from a single vision. Executing perfectly pieced items that were unique, custom and special to each client was an approach that guaranteed their talents spoke for themselves. As the years passed their exquisite jewelry was recognized and the passion exuded through the collections. During the 1920’s the interest in the Far East and their culture expanded simultaneously with the Van Cleef & Arpels newest collections that would showcase such inspirations. Jade, coral, mother-of-pearl and other stones were some of the new stones that grew from these collections and are used in pieces today. To highlight their remarkable talents they began creating pieces other than jewelry that included: vanity cases, clocks and perfume bottles. The 1930’s is when the legendary “Mystery Setting” was born. A special way to set stones with no visible prongs in a painstakingly involved technique that can only be done by a skilled artisan. This is primarily seen with rubies and diamonds as they radiate the most splendors in this style of setting. It is the completed buffed stoned that present a continuously flawless look. After participating in the World’s Fair VCA opens in, the now existing, Fifth Avenue New York location. The new surroundings and influences are motivation for fresh designs. It is in New York that the iconic ballerina and fairy clips are born. The Duchess of Windsor mentions in 1938 that a necklace with a zipper mechanism should be made, it is not until almost 13 years later, in 1951 that this piece is revealed. The 1950’s housed several variations of this idea with an assortment of stones, sizes and designs. It was in 1968 that the brand’s revolutionary symbol was introduced. The Alhambra a representation of luck and a tradition of excellence goes into every piece. It is through this introduction that Van Cleef & Arpels grows strongly and quickly with more recognition alongside the collections. Introducing complicated watches that depict Parisian fairytales and the night sky pushes Van Cleef forward in the watch industry. Van Cleef & Arpels has been regarded to be in a league of their own; designing incredible pieces that have marked some of the most important points in history for remarkably influential people.

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