The Van Cleef & Arpels saga started with the dynastic marriage of Leon Arpels' daughter Estelle to Alfred Van Cleef. Both the Van Cleefs and the Arpels family were renowned diamond merchants, and Estelle's husband joined up with his brothers-in-law in 1906 in opening up a store at 22 Place Vendome, the epicenter of the jewelry trade. The elegance ...Read MoreThe Van Cleef & Arpels saga started with the dynastic marriage of Leon Arpels' daughter Estelle to Alfred Van Cleef. Both the Van Cleefs and the Arpels family were renowned diamond merchants, and Estelle's husband joined up with his brothers-in-law in 1906 in opening up a store at 22 Place Vendome, the epicenter of the jewelry trade. The elegance of their designs and quality of their jewels made the firm an instant success. Since then Van Cleef & Arpels pioneered the minaudiere, a jeweled vanity case for ladies' cosmetics, patented an ingenious invisible setting for stones, and invented the fabled diamond "zip," among other renowned achievements. This lovely, full-color volume is a visual testimony to the success of one of the leading jewelers of modern times.Read Less
This book is one of the finest books I've had the pleasure to come across on jewelry and design. It starts with the birth of the jewelry dynasty of "The House of Van Cleef & Arpels" in Paris, and covers their move to NY, NY.
Its 328 pages are amazing to look at, fun to read, easy to "get into", and integrates some of the most interesting history of jewels, the fine jewelery craftsmen of the day,and many jewelers associated with this fine company for nearly 90 years now.
As a Graduate Gemologist who recently had the unique pleasure of appraising a version of the "Zip" necklace originally reported to have been created for The Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson) by Van Cleef & Arpels (Paris), the "Zip" necklace completed the "little black dress". It could be "unzipped" and worn as a bracelet, or with one piece added, would create a choker style necklace.
The "Zip" choker/bracelet was elegant and
It is simple yet ingenious in its design. This is what fine jewelry should be all about. We have all but abandoned such creativity...........and respect for the art of the craft. of jewelry design, etc.
The book is full of history, colorful sketches of various creations, finished designs, and a cadre of information on some of our world's most famous gemstones: jewelry created for Kings, Queens, or just a wealthy industrialist.
Do you think I admire this book? Yes, I do......
It would make a fine gift for that very special person, or for anyone wanting knowledge of the "House of Van Cleef & Arpels", and the birth of the "Art Deco" period of jewelry, up to present day.
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