Van Cleef & Arpels
300 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Monday to Saturday 10-6
For a century Van Cleef and Arpels has been fusing inspiration and techinical prowess into creations such as the Mystery Setting.
Van Cleef & Arpels is a famous French jewelry house; its origins in 1896 lay in the hands of Alfred Van Cleef and his father-in-law, Salomon Arpels. They occupied their first shop in the Place Vendome at number 22, where their premises are still located.
Alfred Van Cleef served as an apprentice to Messrs David et Grosgeat before becoming a salesman for the same firm. In 1898, he married his cousin, Esther Arpels. Alfred had a good understanding of the techniques of stone cutting as well as being a skilled administrator; his wife looked after the accounts in the company's infancy.
A third Arpels brother joined in 1912, and his genial personality helped woo important clients including such celebrities as Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier and Eva Peron for whom a diamond and sapphire Argentine flag brooch was designed in the early 1950s. The platinum-set brooch contains seven baguette-cut diamonds, and hundreds of square-cut deep blue sapphires and circular-cut diamonds, with yellow diamonds in the flag's central sun motif.The company also designed the tiara of Grace Kelly when she became the princess of Monaco in 1956.
The firm's pre-1920 jewelry is characterised by fluid lines, graceful curves, color, and a poetic sense of movement, evident of the Art Nouveau style.