Curiously, the beginning of the history of Van Cleef & Arpels (in 1906 the house opened a boutique on the Vendôme Square) coincided with the “inauguration” in the center of Moscow of the grandiose Firsanovsky shopping arcade, where the shops of the most famous merchants were located. Today, under the glass arcade of the Petrovsky Passage (renamed in 1918) a new boutique of the French jewelry brand is located, which will become the embassy of Van Cleef & Arpels in the CIS and Turkey. Space of about 300 sq. m is designed as a luxurious salon in exquisite shades of gold, powder and pastels. The interior is enlivened by silk panels adorned with oriental embroidery, and light showcases with fluttering butterflies and dragonflies, symbols of the jewelry brand.
1 of 3 © press service © press service © press service
A magnificent exhibition of historical treasures, which came to Moscow from the Paris archives of Van Cleef & Arpels, is timed to coincide with the opening. Around 70 jewels are arranged in chronological order, illustrating the evolution of style and jewelery craftsmanship over decade after decade. The earliest items - an enamel pendant watch (1912) and a vine brooch made of platinum and natural pearls - belong to the "snow-white" period of the Belle Epoque. The 1920s and 30s symbolized the triumph of the Art Deco style. During this period, the legendary necklace with ten emerald pendants (1929) for the Egyptian princess Faiza and the diamond plastron (1939) for her mother, Queen Nazli of Egypt, were created. Another legendary adornment is the amazing Roses bracelet with roses from rubies and diamonds (1924),received the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, which gave its name to the Art Deco style.
1 of 6 Pendant watch, 1912 © Press Office Collaret Necklace, 1929. Formerly owned by Princess Faiza of Egypt © Press Office Cordes Bracelet, 1949 © Press Office Set Leaves, 1950. Previously owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post © Press Office Brooch in invisible setting technique, 1951 © press service Threads brooch, 1959 © press service
The era of the 1940s was marked by virtuoso work on metal: during these years, Sequins jewelry with gold sequins and twisted cords made of gold Corde threads appeared. In the post-war decades, the house creates many decorations with natural motives, including the technique of “invisible setting”, patented back in 1933. For the first time, the Leaves set (1950) is exhibited in public: earrings and bracelet made of platinum, yellow gold and light blue sapphires once belonged to the richest American Marjorie Merriweather Post.
In 1967, jewelers at Van Cleef & Arpels created jewelery for the coronation of the empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. This order markedly influenced the aesthetics of 1970s jewelry, in which bright semi-precious gems, corals and Persian turquoise form lush "Indian" inflorescences and images of bestiary from Eastern mythology.
Two Flowers Ring, 1974
In the late 1960s, a peridot kit was created for Peggy Rockefeller. The rich flower necklace, earrings, ring and bracelet were purchased at Christie's in June this year and are now in the archival collection of Van Cleef & Arpels. Seth occupies the main showcase of the boutique on the ground floor. The influence of the Orient is felt in the 1980s, especially in Egyptian jewelry, inspired by the grandiose exhibition "The Treasures of Tutankhamun" in New York in 1979.
Mirifique necklace, 1987 © press service
Some of the jewelry for the Moscow exposition was provided by the Russian clients of the jewelry house. For example, "Odile" and "Odette" - brooches in the shape of ballerinas, created in 2012, and a unique collection of precious princes from the collections based on "Donkey Skin" by Charles Perrault and the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. All five male jewelry figurines belong to the same collector.
The exhibition “Masterpieces from the private collection of Van Cleef & Arpels in Petrovsky Passage” will run until January 13, 2019.>