Van Cleef & Arpels present Vintage Alhambra collections in letterwood
July 2012 – Van Cleef & Arpels, during the recent refurbishment of their Atelier on Place Vendôme in Paris, discovered some planks of letterwood in a hidden cupboard which had been untouched for 25 years.
This unusual discovery has inspired the luxury jeweller to use this wood to create new pieces to complement their quintessential Vintage Alhambra collection.
Precious South American letterwood was so named because the speckled patina of black spots on the wood bears some resemblance to hieroglyphics.
The first collection, a limited edition of pieces, is to launch in September 2012, and will be created with alternating motifs of the original letterwood and pink gold.
Each piece will be one of a numbered edition; in the UK one of no more than 20.
These limited pieces are strongly linked to the jeweller’s heritage, symbolising the continuing expression of Van Cleef & Arpels’ knowledge and use of audacious materials.
The organic differences of this precious wood mean that each jewel is one-of-a-kind.
The second collection will be a permanent addition to the Vintage Alhambra range, and is created solely from letterwood set in pink gold.
The range will be available in boutiques from November 2012.
Both collections feature a 20 motif sautoir, a 10 motif necklace, a bracelet, pendant and earstuds.
Only the most exceptional craftsmen are commissioned to carve Van Cleef & Arpels’ letterwood into the lucky Alhambra four-leaf clover shape.