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November 15, 2012

Van Cleef & Arpels On Display

By Ingrid Skjong | Jewelry

Courtesy of Tony Virardi/ Van Cleef

Showcasing more than 65 rare examples of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is one thing. Offering them all up for sale is quite another, which makes the exhibit “Van Cleef & Arpels: A Retrospective,” at New York’s Macklowe Gallery, a real stunner. “VCA brought luxury and French taste to the United States and taught American women how to dress in jewelry,” says Benjamin Macklowe, vice president of the antiques and estate jewelry dealer. “Their pieces bring whimsy and fantasy into a woman’s life.”

Riffing on two major shows from the last two years—one at New York’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2011 and the other at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (through February 10, 2013), to which Macklowe loaned five major pieces—the gallery pays substantial attention to the iconic brand. Standouts include an Australian opal ring from the 1960s set in an Art Nouveau setting and a coral and jadeite suite illustrating the jeweler’s tendency to follow exotic inspiration. A garland-style platinum and diamond bracelet radiates strength and sparkle.  

“For months now my clients have been hounding me for our latest Van Cleef & Arpels acquisitions,” says Macklowe. “It should make for some nice Christmas shopping.” We only hope we’re so lucky. November 23 through December 9; 667 Madison Ave.; 212-644-6400; macklowegallery.com.