European Trip: Inside Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour

A spotlight of Haute Couture Week, which occurred earlier this month in Paris, was Van Cleef & Arpels‘ unveiling of its newest excessive jewellery assortment. Titled Le Grand Tour, it encompasses 70 items, all impressed by a convention in Seventeenth- to Nineteenth-century Western tradition that noticed younger aristocrats taking lavish journeys via Europe to expertise its cultural wonders.

“The gathering celebrates a convention that has at all times fascinated us,” VCA president and CEO Nicolas Bos commented in notes on Le Grand Tour. “The gathering blends the traditions of bijou and ornamental arts—such objects had been introduced again as souvenirs from the grand tour—with the thought of as soon as once more discovering and mixing durations and cultures. For that, we adopted the path of our predecessors and selected cities that had been famend stops traditionally. We took inspiration from vintage jewellery, marrying it with our personal heritage, fashion, and craftsmanship. The outcome is sort of a colourful sketchbook that invitations to dive into locations and gems.”

Stops on this glittering journey embody London, Paris, the Swiss Alps, and Baden Baden (within the coronary heart of southwestern Germany), however essentially the most action-packed chapter unfolds in Italy. Learn on for a “travelogue” of the treasures situated therein.

A quartet of versatile bandeaux bracelets typical of Van Cleef & Arpels’ work within the Nineteen Twenties offers a form of amuse-bouche to the multicourse Italian feast to return: There’s one bracelet every for Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples, the locations highlighted on this portion of Le Grand Tour.

Sculpted gold motifs depicting well-known Italian landmarks glint from gem-set backgrounds that evoke a bejeweled panorama of colourful micromosaic tesserae. You may make out the architectural options of the Colosseum within the instance proven beneath.


VCA Escale antique bracelet
Escale Vintage bracelet in rose gold with emeralds, tsavorite garnets, and diamonds, value on request


The town’s wonderful canals and picturesque gondolas are expressed within the magnificent necklace beneath (simply in case you wanted additional proof that turquoise may be unbelievably luxe). This choker fashion is fringed with 16 articulated turquoise pendants topped by pavé diamond arches, a nod to Venice’s bridges. Deep blue sapphires add distinction, and the again of the necklace is completed with essentially the most decadent shock: neat rows of gradated blue sapphires.

VCA Chant des gondoliers necklace
Chant des Gondoliers necklace in white and yellow gold with sapphires, turquoise, and diamonds, value on request

Past the Venetian panorama’s distinctive options, different inspirations inform this group. For instance, the Carriera earrings are an homage to the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera (1675—1757), a member of the Rococo motion, whose work, in keeping with the gathering notes, is claimed to have influenced a penchant for pastels among the many courtiers of 18th-century France. Therefore the earring’s numerous shades of pink; the inclusion of pearls alludes to the jewellery kinds that had been in vogue through the Rococo period in France and in Italy.

VCA Carriera transformable earrings
Carriera earrings with removable pendants in rose and white gold with pink sapphires, spessartite garnets, white cultured pearls, and diamonds, value on request


Magical Firenze, perpetually steeped in Outdated World appeal and romance and Renaissance historical past… The jewels from this cease on the tour lean closely on stones in painterly colours that additionally evoke ardour and need, taking a cue from the town’s magnificent artisan traditions. Van Cleef & Arpels fittingly affords an homage to the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli and his well-known 1485 masterpiece The Beginning of Venus with a hoop that facilities an oval-cut pink sapphire within the hole of a rose gold shell. The spiraling gems and metalwork of the Ode à l’Amour ring seize the essence of the portray’s iconic sea-themed particulars and the tendrils of Venus’ water-swept hair.

VCA Ode a lamour ring
Ode à l’Amour ring in rose and white gold with 4 ct. oval pink sapphire and accents of rubies, pink sapphires, and diamonds, value on request

An unique tackle Florentine aesthetics: the Villanova necklace, impressed by Etruscan-style jewellery, with its beneficiant ensemble of rubellites and diamonds descending from a rose gold choker woven in a chevron sample. Every rubellite factor is removable in case the second calls merely for the richness of gold and diamonds. And that clasp!


VCA Villanova transformable necklace
Villanova necklace in white and rose gold with cabochon-cut rubellites and diamonds, value on request


Van Cleef & Arpels artisans had been endlessly impressed by the Everlasting Metropolis’s architectural and historic marvels, from St. Peter’s Sq. to Villa Borghese. The Piazza Divina necklace borrows the previous’s geometric structure, first designed by Bernini within the Seventeenth century, with its elliptical motifs—together with the 13.08 ct. oval-cut emerald that’s the centerpiece of the removable medallion.

VCA Piazza Divina transformable necklace
 Piazza Divina necklace in white, rose, and yellow gold with oval-cut emerald and accents of diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, value on request

A celebration of Roman antiquity, the Anfora clip reveals a purple jasper intaglio courting to the 2nd century A.D. It sits on the coronary heart of a composition impressed by the traditional artwork of goldsmithing and punctuated with a lapis lazuli cabochon, a splash of diamonds, and an oval spessartite garnet that bathes the jewel with a heat, sun-like glow.

VCA Anfora clip
Anfora clip in yellow gold and rose gold with carved purple jasper motif, oval-cut spessartite garnet, lapis lazuli, and diamonds, value on request

Lastly, the Diana transformable necklace is a reference to the temple of Diana within the gardens of Villa Borghese. Its distinctive columns and cupola floor on the base of the necklace’s ornate central medallion, enclosing a sapphire, and crowning a tassel of pearls and emerald beads. The tassel is removable so the necklace may be worn a lot of methods; the jewel additionally breaks right down to type two matching bracelets, and the sapphire medallion doubles as a brooch.

VCA Diana transformable long necklace
Diana transformable lengthy necklace in white gold and rose gold with 8.55 ct. cushion-cut sapphire and accents of sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, and cultured pearls, value on request


Van Cleef & Arpels’ final cease in Italy features a necklace impressed by the town’s famed Church of Gesù Nuovo; the opposite items on this group are rooted in locales which are typically included as “day journeys” on itineraries overlaying Napoli and its environs.

The Ninfe necklace summons the mosaics of the ruined Nymphaeum, a monument that was constructed within the historic enclave of Herculaneum on the Bay of Naples (like Pompeii, Herculaneum was decimated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 70 A.D.). The necklace takes its type from a lavish floral crown worn by one of many nymphs within the mosaics.

VCA Ninfe necklace
Ninfe necklace in rose gold and white gold with rubellites, pink sapphires, rubies, spessartite garnets, coral, and diamonds, value on request

Floral and foliate motifs—a Van Cleef & Arpels signature since its inception—additionally present up in three brooches within the Naples group, together with the Symphonie Végéstory. They’re impressed by terraces and gardens discovered within the villas of Ravello on the Amalfi coast.

VCA Symphonie vegetale clip
Symphonie Végéstory clip in white gold and rose gold with pink tourmaline, coloured sapphires, and diamonds, value on request

Who wouldn’t need to linger in these blooming paradises, actual or bejeweled?

Prime: Postcard from “Naples” through Van Cleef & Arpels: Symphonie de l’eau clip in white gold and rose gold with black opal cabochon, sapphires, tsavorite garnets, inexperienced tourmalines, and diamonds.  

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