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History of the Alhambra collection
A value dear to the Maison, luck has been a perennial guiding light for Van Cleef & Arpels, inspiring some of its most iconic creations. Four-leaf clover motifs first appeared in the Maison’s archives as of the 1920’s, embellishing select creations over the years alongside other symbols of good fortune including wooden talismans, charms and benevolent fairies. Jacques Arpels, nephew of the founding couple and avid collector would often pick four-leaf clovers in his back yard, offering them to his employees as good luck charms.
Product card of a Clover pendant, 1948. Van Cleef & Arpels Archives
“To be lucky, you must believe in luck,” Jacques Arpels liked to say.
In 1968, the Maison created the first Alhambra® long necklace, composed of 20 clover-shaped motifs in creased yellow gold and trimmed with gold beads. This symbolic design achieved immediate success, recognized throughout the world as a token of luck, emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Romy Schneider on Le Mouton Enragé movie shooting, 1973, wearing one Alhambra long necklace
Françoise Hardy is wearing two Alhambra sautoirs and a PA 49 wristwatch, 1973, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives
H.S.H. Princess Grace of Monaco is wearing three Alhambra sautoirs, 1979
A veritable signature of the Maison, the Alhambra collection has consistently reinvented itself the decades to today’s current collection, enriched with a wide range of materials, colors and symbols.
Van Cleef & Arpels catalogue, 1973, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives