One of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most exquisite special orders is a delicate flying bird carrying a 95-carat pear-shaped yellow diamond. In the 1930s, this unique gem belonged to the opera singer and socialite Ganna Walska, who wore it as a pendant.
This remarkable diamond appeared at a Sotheby auction in 1971: one year later it adorned the cover of a Van Cleef & Arpels’ catalogue, flying over the mythical Place Vendôme in the beak of a bird.
Its new owner had asked the Maison to combine this exceptional stone with a bird of yellow gold, emeralds, and sapphires in celebration of the birth of her son in 1972.
Walska brooch, 1971, Private Collection
Catalogue cover with Walska brooch, 1972, Van Cleef & Arpels' Archives
Ganna Walska’s yellow diamond became the precious bundle carried through the skies by this magical bird.
In keeping with Van Cleef Arpels’ tradition of transformability, the bird can metamorphose into a pair of winged earrings and a brooch, while the magnificent yellow diamond can be detached from the brooch and worn alone as a pendant.