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    Historic Pieces


    The Ballerina and Fairy clips of the 1940s

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    Van Cleef & Arpels’ iconic Ballerina and Fairy clips were invented in New York in the early 1940s.

    The Ballerinas were inspired by Louis Arpels’ passion for the world of dance.

    Caught in a variety of dance poses, their costumes sparkled with diamonds and were accentuated with rubies and emeralds, mounted in platinum.

    Symbols of joy and hope during the dark days of World War II.

    Danseuse Espagnole clip, 1941, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection - Van Cleef & Arpels
    Danseuse Espagnole clip, 1941, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection

     

    The Danseuse Espagnole clip from 1941 - with her ruby and emerald hair ornament, her ruby and emerald fan, and her flounced dress sparkling with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds – is one of the earliest models. These exquisite pieces were an immediate success with the Maison’s glamorous American clientele, who saw them as symbols of joy and hope during the dark days of World War II.

    Created at much the same time, the Fairy clips were inspired by the cartoons of this period. One of the first clips was the "Dragonfly" brooch, which remained in production for several years: in 1944, Barbara Hutton ordered the exquisite “Spirit of Beauty” brooch in Beverly Hills. Composed of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, it is a fine example of a “Dragonfly”brooch. Sharon Stone would later wear a 1955 Dragonfly brooch in diamonds and platinum to the 1994 Academy Awards.

     


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