|The beginnings of Van Cleef & Arpels’ iconic ballerina clips sprang from an artistic collaboration between Maurice Duvalet, a French-born designer who moved to America at the end of World War I; John Rubel, the House’s manufacturer who had just emigrated from Paris; and Van Cleef & Arpels whose original inspiration was rooted by Louis Arpels’ passion for classical ballet and opera.|
Duvalet drew sketch after sketch until he fashioned the first group of ballerinas, whose glittering faces were always represented by a rose-cut diamond. The dancers’ costumes also featured mostly rose-cut diamonds accentuated by rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
The Camargo Brooch, 1942
|The first ballerina clips produced in the early 1940s as the U.S. emerged from the Depression. These creations were enthusiastically received by wealthy American clients who saw the ballerinas as symbols of hope and joy for better days to come. |
The house has produced many prized ballerina pieces, preserving its close relationship with the art of ballet.
A diamond, ruby, and turquoise "Clip Danseuse" brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1943.
1951 - $289,000 USD at Sotheby’s New York on April 17th, 2008.