We've seen the enchanting fairies clips recently from Van Cleef & Arpels and those had truly taken our breaths away, but now be prepared to be amazed once again as we explore how the Maison reimagines mythical beings into its many creations.
From the unique Automate Fée Ondine Extraordinary Object that was released in SIHH 2017 to unicorns and phoenixes dancing in jewels, Van Cleef & Arpels imbues its creations with a life-like lightness, movement and ethereal charm.
Known for drawing inspiration from ancient tales and mythical folklores, Van Cleef & Arpels has always extended its reach beyond the delicate fairies we often see in their spotlight.
Phoenixes, unicorns and even pegasi have all made their marks in the famed archives of the Maison’s rich heritage, where each brings a new persona to the richesse and unceasing enchantment of the imagination.
Take for example, the Licorne clip (above picture, far right), which is part of the L’Arche de Noé collection. This magnificent creation is made with Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, emeralds, sapphires, turquoise and diamonds, all encased in white and rose gold to showcase the delicate mane and signature horn of the beast.
At the house of Van Cleef & Arpels, its fairies continue to be the main star of its many creations. One of the most noteworthy designs in the past decade is the Fée des Lilas clip, created in the year 2014.
Inspired by one of Charles Perrault’s fairytales, Peau d’Âne, the Fée des Lilas features the Lilac Fairy which is meticulously crafted to bring the creature to life, delicately set with diamonds, pink and purple spinels and sapphires to represent a voluminous, flowing dress.
From fairy flips, we move on to the art of watchmaking, where the magical fairies also imbued their delicate presence for the Maison.
The Lady Arpels Féerie and Féerie Rouge timepieces are two of the outstanding creations made in recent years as part of the Poetic Complications, which showcase delicacy and femininity embodied by fairies. With these timepieces, the passing of time is marked by a fairy wand and glimmering wings.
The Lady Arpels Féerie timepiece houses a fairy, which is modelled after the Midsummer’s night dream fairy clip, bringing the story of the fairies back in a full circle.
But the cream of the crop for the art of watchmaking for Van Cleef & Arpels goes to a unique piece that was created for SIHH 2017 – the Automate Fée Ondine Extraordinary Object.
This creation is by no means a simple clock that tells time as it features a highly complex mechanism that magically brings to life a bejewelled tableau of a fairy waking from sleep – a way for the Maison to illustrate the poetry of time.
Starting from the rippling of the water lily leaf and moving to the blooming lilies that waken the fairy who lifts her head to greet the butterfly arising from the lily, each second animated from this creation is a true work of art and magic – marking it as one of Van Cleef & Arpels most accomplished feats of all time.