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Thursday, 21 April 2011

The "ballerinas" by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS


The "ballerina" brooches made by Van Cleef & Arpels during the 1940's -50's are one of those classic, yet rare, collectable pieces. I am not particularly fond of wearing them, I don't think it is easy nowadays. However, they are very beautiful, and this one is amongst the most elegant ones that I have found. It is a new acquisition by Hancocks, London. It is made of old cut diamonds and a fine cushion shaped sapphire and as their notes say: "These iconic ballerinas were a collaboration between Maurice Duvalet, Van Cleef & Arpels and John Rubel. The Arpels had close ties with the ballet and were influenced by the great dancers and choreographers of the day. They even approached George Balanchine to produce a ballet entitled 'Jewels' where various countries were represented by different precious stones."
A selection of very fine ballerinas is exhibited right now at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum in New York, in the Van Cleef & Arpels set in style exhibition.