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This automaton presents a flower that blooms to reveal a fine winged creature. Here, a flower born in an imaginary garden animates on demand, opening its petals to unveil a hummingbird ready to take flight. The bird’s wings spread to beat for a few instants. The hummingbird then goes back to its place at the center of the corolla, which simultaneously closes all its petals around the bird, gently enveloping it. The music that accompanies this scene has been specially written for this creation.
The scene played out by the Rêveries de Berylline automaton gives pride of place to traditional crafts. Van Cleef & Arpels’ High Jewelry savoir-faire brings the bird to life: its glittering stones captivate the eye as it beats its wings. Special care was taken in selecting these gems, whose shades recall the shimmering plumage of a real hummingbird. In a final detail, a mauve sapphire seems suspended from the bird’s beak like a drop of water, its color subtly varying with the play of the light.
Entirely sculpted, the base of the creation is made up of two pieces of red porphyry and a bowl in lapis lazuli. The stones – carefully selected by Van Cleef & Arpels’ gemologists – were intricately carved and polished to bring out all their character and inherent life.
Lastly, a corolla of fine petals crowns the summit of the automaton, adorned with gentle shades created using the exacting skill of lacquer work. Painted individually using an airbrush in several successive layers, the 36 petals reveal subtle gradations of color, which are identical from one petal to the next.