Three unusual gem-set bracelets, by Van Cleef & Arpels, (3)

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Lot 128
Three unusual gem-set bracelets,
by Van Cleef & Arpels, 1926
(3)

Sold for £ 175,000 (US$ 216,234) inc. premium
Three unusual gem-set bracelets, by Van Cleef & Arpels, 1926
Each set with five principal hexagonal-cut gems in a delicate openwork rose-cut diamond frame with millegrain detail, connected by buckle-shaped links of similarly set rose-cut diamonds and horizontal rows of four buff-top calibré-cut gems, one bracelet set with peridots and onyx, one bracelet set with amethysts, one bracelet set with citrines, one buff-top amethyst missing, each bracelet engraved Van Cleef Arpels Paris, peridot bracelet numbered 28034, amethyst bracelet numbered 28035, citrine bracelet numbered 28037, each with French assay marks, bracelet length 18.5cm (3)

Footnotes

  • Accompanied by three certificates of authenticity from Van Cleef & Arpels, dated 11 May 2018.

    Please note that although the certificate for the citrine bracelet describes the gemstones as 'topaz', they are in fact citrine. The two gemstone varieties are visually similar and 'topaz' is an old fashioned misnomer that was often used to describe citrine.

    The 1920s was a pioneering decade in the history of jewellery, when the top jewellery houses were making some of their finest and most inventive pieces. In contrast to the white landscape of diamond jewellery of the Belle Époque, the early Art Deco period saw a myriad of coloured gemstones used in design. New advances in cutting techniques gave way to a greater variety of shapes, such as hexagons and pyramids and the recently invented 'tallow-cutting' technique allowed highly skilled jewellers to cut richly coloured gemstones into small buff-top cabochons, which could be used to build form and texture. These three rare and unusual bracelets from 1926 perfectly illustrate how Van Cleef & Arpels was innovator par excellence during this period. Unusually, the bracelets are mounted in palladium-plated gold. Palladium is a white metal, like platinum, that does not tarnish and develops an attractive patina. While platinum was the precious white metal of choice at the time, and most costly, the use of palladium-plated gold, in combination with semi-precious principal gemstones, signals a shift towards prioritising design above expense.
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Three unusual gem-set bracelets, by Van Cleef & Arpels, (3)
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