“The Duchess of Windsor, the Maharani of Baroda, Lady Deterding, Mrs Patino and Florence Gould all wear sumptuous jewellery. Is this a coincidence? They all come from the same jeweller: Van Cleef and Arpels
Jewellery is a hushed, secretive world, but also particularly attractive to those who are not part of it. I suspect, and rightly so, that precious materials and the craftsmen who handle them have this tendency to arouse interest, questions and also fascination in people who are not part of this world.
Vincent Meylan’s book, published in 2012 by Éditions Télémaque, succeeds in lifting the veil on this world and on the famous house of Place Vendôme: Van Cleef and Arpels. It brilliantly explores the history of the house since its creation by honouring famous clients and presenting, thanks to a superb iconography, unique and exceptional pieces. Gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, turquoise, sapphires, as well as pearls, amethysts, citrines and coral cabochons illuminate the many glossy plates in this book with their bold colours.
The stories of the customers and the pieces will sometimes make you smile. So will the many anecdotes told throughout the 450 richly documented pages of this book, which I have enjoyed reading for the past two weeks.
This book is sure to delight lovers of jewellery and history alike. A good idea for a gift to put under the Christmas tree.
See you soon!