Adding to Van Cleef & Arpels’ increasingly impressive bibliotheque comes a companion publication to this year’s 'The Art & Science of Gems' exhibition at the Moshe Safdie-designed ArtScience Museum in Singapore.
Page upon sumptuous page of historical jewels display the height of the French house's rich, curious and gorgeously offbeat approach to precious metals and stones. Among the most wondrous are the objet designs of the early 20th century – a carved jade pillbox, gold champagne swizzle, and a quartz and onyx nightlight among them. They are interspersed among more recognisable Van Cleef jewellery designs, such as diamond ribbon collars, clips and cuffs, and figurative pieces.
Gold, pearls, jade, coral, emeralds, rock crystal and diamonds are just some of the rare minerals and gemstones linking natural scientific processes to over a century of exceptional creative interpretation.
Overall, The Art & Science of Gems, with the French National Museum of History as a partner, does much to illuminate the deep cultural seam that renders high jewellery design such an extraordinary art form. At the same time, it once again highlights Van Cleef & Arpels as the most cerebral of the Place Vendôme jewellers.