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The winged ballet of butterflies
Embodying the buoyant exuberance of flora and fauna at the first stirrings of spring, butterflies have nurtured the creative vision of Van Cleef & Arpels since its foundation. Throughout the decades, the Maison has conveyed their diaphanous flight and boundless nuances in its jewelry, High Jewelry and timepiece collections.
Product card of a Butterfly clip, 1937, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives
Ever since the birth of the Maison in 1906, these winged creatures appeared as precious clips and earrings, later adorned with Mystery Set™ jewels, mother-of-pearl or lacquered wood. Over time, they adopted abstract or figurative aesthetics to echo various sources of inspiration dear to Van Cleef & Arpels: nature, couture and luck, among others.
Created in 2001, the Two Butterfly collection features aerial twosomes set with ornamental stones and colored gems, as well as natural materials such as mother-of-pearl. Their subtle asymmetry pays tribute to the vitality of these delicate creatures.
Marquise cut diamond setting, Two Butterfly between the Finger ring, yellow gold, white gold, lapis lazuli, diamonds
Tobiusagi lacquered butterfly clip, white gold, gray mother-of-pearl, diamonds
Positioning of the plique-à-jour enamel butterfly's wing on the dial, Lady Arpels Papillon Extraordinaire watch
In 2010, Van Cleef & Arpels gave prominence to butterflies with a High Jewelry collection dedicated exclusively to this theme. The Butterflies collection celebrated the spirit of these delightful insects with a kaleidoscope of winged masterpieces.
Butterflies also adorn the Maison’s timepieces, embellished with consummate expertise. Enameling techniques – plique-à-jour, champlevé and paillonné – mix with miniature paintings to reproduce the myriad colors of butterflies’ wings, gracefully displayed on watch dials.