REVIEW-Van Cleef & Arpels showcase extraordinary array of high jewellery in Milan
By David Brough
MILAN, February 21, 2020 – Paris maison Van Cleef & Arpels has presented a sumptuous variety of fine jewellery at a popular exhibition curated at the Palazzo Reale in central Milan.
A visitor to the show came away both informed and entertained after seeing an array of pieces, from jewellery to clocks, including many designs from the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s, which are highly sought-after by collectors.
The free exhibition features some of Van Cleef’s celebrated “Zip” necklaces, which emanated from a suggestion by the Duchess of Windsor, a long-time customer of the Place Vendome jeweller.
The inspiration of India permeated a 1971 emerald necklace, while a Spanish dancer clip, 1941, underscored the maison’s long fascination with dancers and feminine poses.
Nature abounded at the exhibition, exemplified by a series of bird clips; and the three leaves clip, 1955, showing off mystery set rubies.
A proliferation of fairies, another frequent theme of Van Cleef design, reflected the power of the imagination.
Visitors to the show, clicking pictures enthusiastically with their smartphones, gasped audibly at the artistry and extreme craftsmanship of the collection, which was backed up by a video focused on the painstaking skills utilised in creating Van Cleef pieces.
The exhibition, curated by celebrated Italian academic and author Alba Cappellieri, ends on February 23.