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L’Arche de Noé, by Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels Arche de Noé Unicorn. Diamonds, emerald, Mystery Set™ sapphires and turquoise

Van Cleef & Arpels Arche de Noé Unicorn. Diamonds, emerald, Mystery Set™ sapphires and turquoise – 1570 hours of work

Van Cleef & Arpels reinvents Noah’s Ark with a new fabulous high jewellery collection, « L’Arche de Noé », presented as an exhibition to the public at the prestigious Hôtel d’Evreux, Place Vendôme, until September 26th.

After Peau d’Âne, Van Cleef & Arpels plunges into the book of Genesis and reinvents Noah’s Ark with the collaboration of talented set designer Robert Wilson for the launch of a new high  jewellery collection that the Maison wished to share with the Public until September 26th, 2016.

Do not miss this exhibition, a pure delight for the eyes. Van Cleef & Arpels has a few surprises in store for you with this collection composed exclusively of animal clips, highlighting the codes and stones dear to the house. A Noah’s Ark which brings to life real and imaginary animals. Such as this unicorn, a wonderful creature represented in the 1940s by the Maison and whose volume is underlined thanks to the Mystery Set™, an emblematic technique patented in 1933 by the Maison to set the stones without the metal being visible. Also this phoenix, a legendary bird common to many cultures, this clip illustrates the vitality of its eternal rebirth. This is one out of the three imaginary creatures of the collection, this interpretation is in line with other major jewellery pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels: the bird clip made in 1971-72, set with the Walska Briolette yellow diamond, and the Mysterious Phoenix necklace from the 2012 collection « Palais de la chance ».

Van Cleef & Arpels Arche de Noé Phoenix clip. Mystery Set™ ruby, mother-of-pearl, diamonds

Van Cleef & Arpels Arche de Noé Phoenix clip. Mystery Set™ ruby, mother-of-pearl, diamonds – 1505 hours of work

Inspired by the bestiary dear to the Van Cleef & Arpels Maison, each animal required long hours of hard work and it took almost three years to prepare this fabulous artwork collection. All these lovable animals can be purchased and I would have loved myself to own a piece of this merry and magical collection.

The amazement is also caused by the poetic journey imagined by the set designer of  mythical Einstein on the BeachRobert Wilson,aka Bob Wilson to his close friends. At the age of 75, he who has staged the greatest operas such as Pelléas and Mélisande and Madame Butterfly – recently at the Paris Bastille Opera – still know how to delight grown-ups and children alike.

By imagining a sensory setting to tell the story of Noah’s Ark in light and emotion, Bob Wilson recalls his childhood soul and honours animals and nature in a dreamlike and wonderful way by reviving – with irony –  the scene of The Flood.

At the press conference, Bob Wilson described his work with light, a fascination ever since he was a kid, recalling that “without light there is no space and therefore no contrast”. Life is a contrast and it would be a shame to deprive ourselves of it. He wanted more than ever to put forward this contrast of day and night, sun and rain to pay homage to both diurnal and nocturnal animals. This minimalist Ark hanging in the middle of the room made me think of a refuge for animals but also for the world. To me it was like a reference to current events, which raises the question of our faculty to welcome the other. But, as one of my friends would say, stop analysing and just receive.

The peacock, symbol of prosperity and radiance, is represented here by pair

The peacock, symbol of prosperity and radiance, is represented here by pair, majestically perched on a turquoise cabochon. The soft, luminous colour of the center stone responds to a sumptuous palette of gems in various shapes: baguette sapphire, pear-cut emeralds, Paraíba tourmalines and round mint garnets. The vividness of the shades – green, blue, purple – is enhanced by the lines which curl and intermingle. Contributing to the relief effect, the delicately superimposed feathers combine different types of settings. This technical research reflects the will of the Maison to constantly excel itself, drawing from nature an infinite source of wonder – Van Cleef & Arpels – 675 hours of work

This is what I invite you to do by going to see this superb exhibition, unfortunately very ephemeral. We would have liked it to last as long as the fabulous exhibition on the Art of High Jewellery in 2012!

Do not hesitate also to take your children who will marvel at these magical animals. Add to this another exhibition that is perfect for kids: Le Grand Orchestre des animaux, at the Cartier Fondation.

Exhibition from 3 to 26 September 2016

Free entry, from noon to 8PM

www.vancleefarpels.com

The zebras are remarkable in this collection because of the graphic combination of materials

The zebras are remarkable in this collection because of the graphic combination of materials. The stripes of their coat appear by alternating diamonds and hard stones: lapis-lazuli and onyx. Finely matching, the hoofs of one, slightly raised, echo the stripes of the other, which delicately lowers the head. The muzzles were also carved in both materials, taking care of the fineness of the details. Different cutting of diamonds – round, square and triangle – give rythm to this dance, in an elegant harmony of geometrical lines – Van Cleef & Arpels – 250 hours of work

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