A Century of Sparkle with Christie’s and Van Cleef & Arpels

Christie’s and Van Cleef & Arpels team up for a Centennial Tribute in celebration of the Acclaimed Jewelry House

By Dara Silverstein
Photography Provided by CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2006


 “This collection of jewelry is the finest representation of the ideals that have defined the House for the past one hundred years.”

Prince Ranier offered Grace Kelly one of its gorgeous pearl and diamond necklaces as an engagement present. It made Jackie O’s engagement ring. Julia Roberts wore one of their snowflake bracelets when she accepted her Oscar. For decades women like these – all style icons in their own right – have adored the classic designs by the esteemed jewelry house, Van Cleef and Arpels. It’s no surprise that this name has become synonymous with excellent quality and classic design.

2006 marks Van Cleef and Arpels’ 100-year anniversary. It’s come a long way since the first boutique opened in Paris on the Place Vendôme in 1906. Today Van Cleef and Arpels has stores in the world’s most prestigious cities-from Fifth Avenue in New York to Kiev, Ukraine. The creation of the Minaudiere in 1930 revolutionized the way women will forever accessorize (no more losing your lipstick in your purse!) and the colorful Alhambra line is still as classic today as it was when it premiered more than three decades ago.

This October, Christie’s will debut its collaborative partnership with Van Cleef and Arpels in honor of the jeweler’s centennial year. They will host two specially curated auctions (New York on Oct. 11 and Geneva, Switzerland on Nov. 18). The auctions are in conjunction with Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sales, which begin Oct. 10 in New York. Christie’s jewelry specialists from across the globe collaborated closely with Van Cleef’s designers for the upcoming Centennial Tribute that will feature 50 of the jewelry house’s most famed jewels, two of which have been created specifically for this monumental anniversary. “This collection of jewelry is the finest representation of the ideals that have defined the House for the past one hundred years,” said Stanislas de Quercize, Van Cleef and Arpels’ International President and CEO.

The 50 pieces of jewelry up for auction will represent a timeline of Van Cleef and Arpels. François Curiel, Christie’s deputy chairman, said, “This special project provides an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime overview of this famous house.” That, it most certainly will, with the revolutionary “Mystery Set” ruby and diamond bracelet, Art Deco-era diamond feather brooch and the signature “Ludo Hexagone” diamond and gold bracelet-watch-all up for bid.

Two of the most anticipated highlights of this auction are the new additions that were created especially for this centennial. For New York, Van Cleef and Arpels has created a jadeite disc necklace encircled by diamonds that was inspired by the Art Deco sautoirs of the 1930’s. And for Geneva, the jeweler used one of its most enduring designs-the Fairy Clip-and encrusted it with diamonds and pink sapphires. These one-of-a-kind pieces definitely make this auction a rare opportunity for collectors and for all those girls looking for a few more best friends.