Jewelry Exhibits

“A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels” at The Bowers Museum

Quest for Beauty

It’s high time for jewelry this season as another jewelry exhibition opened its doors this month.  From now through February 15th, 2014, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana California, is hosting “A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels”.

Quest

Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

With more than 200 pieces that span over 100 years of history, the exhibition offers visitors an exciting glimpse of the jeweled masterpieces created by the Place Vendôme High Jewelry Maison.  Precious jewels, watches and accessories, 70 of which have never been displayed to the public before, are currently on view alongside archival drawings and documents for all to see.

Egyptian Bracelet, 1924

Egyptian Bracelet, 1924
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Visitors will embark on a jeweled journey that explores the four themes that continue to inspire the Maison:  Nature, Elegance, Exoticism and Femininity.  Creatively curated by the Maison’s heritage director, Catherine Cariou, the exhibition features many of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most iconic pieces as well as jewels belonging to the 20th century’s most legendary ladies and jewelry collectors.  The immersion into the dazzling world of Van Cleef & Arpels also shares the Maison’s dedication to craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and pure magic elicited by its exceptional gemstones.  From works demonstrating the Maison’s patented ‘mystery-setting’ to jewels that beautifully embody the nature-inspired designs for which the Maison is known, the jeweled journey transports visitors to the beautiful world of Van Cleef & Arpels and instills the Maison’s vivacious spirit.

Van Cleef & Arpels bird clip in platinum and yellow gold, set with sapphires, turquoise, coral and diamonds, created in 1963.

Van Cleef & Arpels bird clip in platinum and yellow gold, set with sapphires, turquoise, coral and diamonds, created in 1963.
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Other jewels featured are those from the private collection of Princess Grace of Monaco; the famous Spirit of Beauty brooch, originally purchased by American heiress and famous jewelry collector Barbara Hutton in 1944; and the Maison’s famous ‘Zip’ necklace, a design that was first inspired by a conversation between artistic director Renée Puissant and the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s.

Aga Khan choker 1971 Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels Bowers Museum

Aga Khan choker, 1971
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Between its most emblematic jewels to those formerly owned by Elizabeth Taylor, “A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels” highlights the Maison’s enduring legacy, its continued passion for creative design and devotion to impeccable craftsmanship.

Van Cleef & Arpels Cambodian Bracelet (1938) Platinum & Diamonds

Van Cleef & Arpels Cambodian Bracelet,1938 made of platinum and diamonds
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Spirit of Beauty Fairy clip in platinum set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds from 1944, formerly in the collection of heiress and jewelry lover Barbara Hutton who purchased the clip in the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Spirit of Beauty Fairy clip in platinum set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds from 1944, formerly in the collection of heiress and jewelry lover Barbara Hutton who purchased the clip in the 1940s.
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Ludi Briquette B. Hutton Bracelet, 1935

Ludi Briquette Barbara Hutton Bracelet, 1935
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Dragon Vanity Case, 1923

Dragon Vanity Case, 1923
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Dragon Clip, 1969

Dragon Clip, 1969
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Diamond padlock, 1940

Diamond padlock, 1940
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Curl Minaudiere, 1935

Curl Minaudiere, 1935
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Colibri clip, 1925

Colibri clip, 1925
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Chrysantheum clip, 1937

Chrysantheum clip, 1937
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Choker

Panka set, 1974
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Callas clip, 1967

Callas clip, 1967
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Art Deco necklace, 1928

Art Deco necklace, 1928
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Transformable zip bracelet, 1955

Transformable zip bracelet, 1955
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Transformable zip bracelet, 1955

Transformable zip bracelet, 1955
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Van Cleef & Arpels 1951 Pastilles clip, set with calibre-cut rubies and baguette diamonds

Van Cleef & Arpels 1951 Pastilles clip, set with calibre-cut rubies and baguette diamonds
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Passe-Partout necklace, 1939, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection

Passe-Partout necklace, 1939
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Two-sided decorative lapel pin, ca. 1918

Two-sided decorative lapel pin, ca. 1918
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

This Van Cleef & Arpels Barquerolles yellow gold and diamond choker necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Barquerolles yellow gold and diamond choker necklace, bought for Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton on the birth of her first grandchild in 1971, is transformable into two bracelets and a clip.
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Stream of ribbons clip, 1937

Stream of ribbons clip, 1937
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Replica of Farah Pahlavi's Tiara, 1967

Replica of Farah Pahlavi’s Tiara, 1967
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

Spanish dancer clip, 1941

Spanish dancer clip, 1941
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

This Van Cleef & Arpels platinum and diamond tiara was worn by the Princess Grace of Monaco on the occasion of her daughter Princess Caroline's wedding in 1976.

Van Cleef & Arpels platinum and diamond tiara was worn by the Princess Grace of Monaco on the occasion of her daughter Princess Caroline’s wedding in 1976.
Photo courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels/ Bowers Museum

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