Ballerina Dancer by Van Cleef & Arpels - the way emotions are born

Has it happened to you? A chance encounter that stays with you forever; in your memory and in your heart. Other events come and go, but that first discovery stays with you. And so it was when I met the Ballerina and her necklace by the house of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Ballerinas have been eternal and beautiful theme in the artistic creations of Van Cleef & Arpels. To dance and make such wonderful jewellery requires both discipline and artistic endeavor. And both art forms have the capacity to inspire and convey emotions such as love, passion, excitement and freedom. To me, Van Cleef & Arpels conveys spirit, youth, grace and beauty through the creation of such beautiful little ballet dancers. And like an homage, the jeweled ballerinas pay tribute to the beauty of the dance and the dancer.  

Over time, there are many more articles that I will be writing, to show you an incredible number of beautiful and touching dancers. And I look forward to showing you more about how the dream of the dancer connects to reality and how these masterpieces are created.

The first ballerina by Van Cleef & Arpels came into being in New York in 1940. At that time, Lui Arpel’s passion for ballet provided the basis for the design concept of Ballerina brooches.

The Danseuse Espagnole brooch was created in 1941 and was one of the first ballerinas.  With her hair adornment and a hand-fan of rubies and emeralds, this dancer is robed in a shining dress of diamonds, rubies and emeralds as she performs a graceful and joyful arabesque. In the obscure and uncertain days of World War II, such exquisite little jewellery pieces became popular with the elegant American patronesses of the House, for their associations with an elegant art form and happier days.

Danseuse Espagnole brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels

And for several years now, my heart has been charmed with an exquisite necklace featuring a beautiful Ballerina in rubies and diamonds. The Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerina Necklace was created and released with the Lady Arpels Ballerina Decor Watch in 2011 especially for the opening of the Van Cleef and Arpels’ boutique in Hong Kong. Is she not glorious? As you can see in the pictures, the ballerina is detachable and can be worn as a separate brooch or a separate necklace. 

Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerina Dancer necklace

Lady Arpels Ballerina Decor Watches were released in a limited edition of only 22 units. Upon each one, the Ballerina’s graceful figure is constructed of white gold inlaid with jewels and frozen in a dance on the white face of the watch and surrounded by a diamond-studded bezel.  The rich red of the watch strap, combines harmoniously with the saturated color of rubies on ballerina’s ballet skirt. It is a wonderful tribute to the art of the ballet dancer.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Ballerina Decor watch

“We want to help people enjoy life. Creativity generates emotion, regardless of whether it is visible on the face or hidden inside the case. When you look at a watch, you do not think about how accurately it shows the time and whether it shows the time at all. Instead you evaluate it’s appearance and if you consider yourself an expert, you try to understand what mechanism is inside. Then your thoughts gradually move to the eternal themes like how instantaneous life is, how important it is to enjoy every passing day, and how relative the concept of eternity is. It is the way emotions are born.” - Stanislas de Quercize, former president of Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry House (following “Armband Uhren watches").

Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerina Dancer necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels
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Tatyana Pfaifer

The founder of Jewellery Masterpiece