The Extraordinary Objects, remarkable for their combinations of materials, set the stage for a dialogue between jewelry, watchmaking and métiers d'art. Inspired by nature in motion, the Apparition des Baies piece is an invitation to journey to the heart of Van Cleef & Arpels’ poetic vision. 

Delicate blooming

Folded onto themselves, the lacquered rose-gold leaves of the Apparition des Baies automaton form a luxuriant dome that conceals a secret. Like a delicate blooming, the gradual opening of the bouquet reveals a white-gold, diamond and sapphire bird spreading its wings with lifelike authenticity. After taking flight, the bird finds refuge within the object, and the leaves gently fold back.

The base of the automaton features two dalmatian jasper structures and a bowl made of thulite, a rare pink-hued mineral. The white-gold butterfly with its engraved wings, tenderly perched upon a rose-gold branch, observes the passing hours indicated on the rotating ring, embellished with golden beads and hour markers in yellow gold and diamonds.

  • Apparition des Baies automaton, white, yellow and rose gold, light and intense blue sapphires, diamonds, red spinels, dalmatian jasper, thulite, lacquer, ebony, goat leather, aluminum, steel. Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.
Step into Van Cleef & Arpels' workshops
Assembling the wing to the bird’s body. Apparition des Baies automaton, Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.
Engraving work on the bird’s gold wing. Apparition des Baies automaton, Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.
Brush polishing of the thulite bowl. Apparition des Baies automaton, Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.
Comparing the lacquer leaves to the original drawing. Apparition des Baies automaton, Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.
Close up on a rose gold lacquer branch. Apparition des Baies automaton, Extraordinary Objects collection, Van Cleef & Arpels.

This structure is composed of 126 overlapping and intertwined leaves for a volume effect. To create subtle gradations of green, each leaf was lacquered by airbrush. Fully eight coats of lacquer were applied, each requiring extended drying time and manual sanding.