Charmingly graceful butterflies adorn the latest Spring deets from Van Cleef & Arpels.
The sight of delicate butterflies busying themselves among prospering new blooms signals the season of new growth. In Van Cleef & Arpels, butterflies have graced the Maison’s designs since its foundation, in both figurative and stylised manners. From its first appearance in 1906, the butterfly has taken various forms in the Maison’s designs over the years, in wood, lacquer, enamel, mother-of-pearl, precious and ornamental stones, and appeared on highly elaborate watch dials.
This time round, the gentle winged messengers of Spring have once again descended upon the house of Van Cleef & Arpels, dressed in an intense blue of turquoise for the first time. The brilliant shade contrasts against the warmth of yellow gold and sparkling diamonds in the form of earrings, a pendant, and a Between the Finger ring.
In the span of human history, turquoise – prized by the Egyptian pharaohs and the Aztecs – has been set in jewellery and religious objects, and even used as makeup in its powdered form. Van Cleef & Arpels is celebrating this stone with its latest additions to the Two Butterfly collection that has been in existence since 2001, showcasing the delicate beauty of butterflies in flight, in an infinite range of colours. This time round, the turquoise used is chosen for their harmonious, uniform blue and showcased by a yellow gold structure and enhanced by the bright sparkle of diamonds rated from D to F for colour and IF to VVS2 for clarity.
Asymmetry defines the style of the Between the Finger ring and the earrings. This characteristic of Van Cleef & Arpels’ style adds liveliness and exuberance to the intricate pieces with energy and vivacity. Standing out is the Between the Finger ring with its iconic open band; when worn, the two butterflies seem to flutter between the fingers, poised as if in a tête-à-tête. The earrings illuminate each side of the face with either glistening diamonds or intense turquoise, while the necklace’s butterfly pendant sports subtle raised design at an angled tilt, capturing the essence of the creature’s flight in motion towards a sparkly diamond.
The Maison’s expertise in gem selection and setting are apparent. The openwork backs of each piece undergo a meticulous process of shaping to allow light to pass through the diamonds and optimize their luminosity. Three setting techniques were used, depending on the creations: the bead setting found on the pavé motifs is used in conjunction with the prong setting which holds the butterfly’s body represented by a marquise-cut diamond. Finally, a round diamond in a closed setting on the pendant gives the piece a hint of sparkle. The same attention has been given to enhance the beauty of the turquoise stone’s intense colour and lustrous surface by multiple stages of cutting and polishing, while superb craftsmanship is displayed in the production of the curvature of real butterfly wings, and ensuring that it fits seamlessly into the gold structure.
Images courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.