Friday, May 24, 2013

Mastery of Design: A Pair of Ruby Earclips by Van Cleef and Arpels

Rubies and Gold
Van Cleef and Arpels
The Victoria and Albert Museum

This set of earclips by Van Cleef and Arpels was made between 1940 and 1950. The feature a curved panel of gold set with rubies swept around a rod of gold.

The surface of each clip has a pattern of honeycombs in which each hexagon holds a star-set ruby. This design was created by Van Cleef and Arpels in the late 1930s, and was introduced as a flexible bracelet. The style remained popular throughout the 1940s and into the '50s.

The Parisian jewelers Van Cleef and Arpels opened their first New York branch in October of 1929. Bad timing as the venture was ruined by the Stock Market Crash. Ten years later, following the New York World's Fair, they re-established their presence in New York and were, as we know, wildly successful.

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