'Van Cleef & Arpels: Reflections of Eternity'

Men and women have long believed that gold and precious stones are imperishable: as for the meition felt on seeing such beauty, it lasts for only a moment and there is almost nothing to be said about it.

It is as though it escapes the law of time and its threats.

Jewels combine two frms of eternity: one material, approximate, imperfect and reassuringly human in scale, and the other essentially spiritual and contemplative, absolute but as infinitely precarious as life itself.

Marc Petit has followed this story.

It begins as the love story between Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, becoming in 1906 the story of the House of Van Cleef and Arpels.

Convinced of the need to remain true to oneself and to respect their heritage and the values attached, the House's creators have always sought to introduce tecnical innovations, such as the legendary Mystery Setting, which was patented in 1933.

The absence of any visible mounting leaves the delicate cut stones to speak for themselves.

Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor appreciated a style that emphasises asymmetry, metamorphosis and the poetry of Nature, as well as the Couture theme, with its infinite variations on weaving and precious bows.

It is this style that continues to appeal to today's most exceptional women.

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