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

    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.

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.