The Indian influence in the Maison’s creations

Rich in colors, materials and symbols, Indian culture has influenced jewelry creation at Van Cleef & Arpels since the beginning of the 20th century. Indian styles, particularly in vogue in the 1920s, attracted famous clients such as Lady Daisy Fellowes, a socialite who was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time. In 1928, Van Cleef & Arpels designed a convertible necklace in emeralds and diamonds for this paragon of high society. Lady Daisy Fellowes had originally ordered a second manchette cuff to complement the one the Maison had created for her in 1926. A stroke of ingenuity led to an imaginative suggestion: a second bracelet that could combine with the first to form a spectacular choker.

The heritage of some of the Maison’s most prestigious clients also contributed to its predilection for this distant land. Indeed, Van Cleef & Arpels created a multitude of pieces for Maharajahs and their wives, including the Maharani of Baroda, known as the “Indian Wallis Simpson.” From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Arpels brothers made several trips to India in search of exceptional stones. These journeys enriched Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative style with various sources of inspiration reflecting the patterns, textiles and shimmering colors distinctive of Indian crafts.

  • Indian embroidery choker, 1950, platinum, yellow gold, rubues, emeralds. Diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels Collection.

    Indian embroidery earrings, 1965 Platinum, yellow gold, ruby, emerald, diamonds