by Ayesha Shaikh
  • 2 minute read
  • October 14, 2019
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Director Of Patrimony And Exhibitions Reveals Four Must-See Royal Pieces At The Maison’s Ongoing Exhibition In Dubai

Inside the sumptuous new Les Salon Van Cleef & Arpels Dubai Opera, an ongoing exhibition charts the French high jewelry brand’s illustrious history. Called ‘Treasures and Legends’, it’s the maison’s first heritage exhibition in the Middle East, a real jewel in the crown that conveys the breadth of its royal archives.

“This is an exhibition that brings together 57 pieces of the patrimonial collection of Van Cleef & Arpels for the first time under one roof in the region and in Dubai, in particular,” Lise Macdonald, Director of Patrimony and Exhibitions at Van Cleef & Arpels, tells Villa 88. “It showcases the creation of the maison and its foundation at the turn of the century, from the Art Deco style of the 1920s to the 1970s.”

With each piece a true work of art, the exhibition illustrates the themes that are dear to the maison, from nature to couture to Orientalism. As we peruse the 57 exquisite jewelry pieces and precious objects, adorned by kings and queens, maharajas and maharanis, we ask Lise to tell us about the four pieces originating from the Middle East and South Asia that you should keep an eye out for. Here’s what she had to say:

Lise Macdonald, Director of Patrimony and Exhibitions at Van Cleef & Arpels

1. The wonderful diamond necklace of Queen Nazli from the Egypt court, 1939. This is a beautiful, symmetrical composition of diamonds. This exceptional piece was commissioned for the Queen of Egypt and the wedding of her daughter, Princess Fawzia, with the future Shah of Iran.

2. The peony flower, dated 1937, in mystery-set, a technique of setting rubies that was patented by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1933. This peony flower clip belonged to the daughter of Queen Nazli, Princess Faiza. She was a lady of great style, who had a fantastic collection of real masterpieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, out of which you can see two examples on display.

3. The model of the crown for the coronation of Fara Diba, the third wife of the Shah of Iran in 1967. This is a model because the crown is conserved in Iran’s national collection.

4. Necklace that belonged to Begum Salimah Aga Khan, 1970. This is a piece that’s the epitome of Van Cleef & Arpels’ transformation. It’s engraved with cabochon emeralds that are set with diamonds in gold. This necklace is very characteristic of the influence of India in our creations, and it’s present and emblematic of our creations in the 1970s. This one necklace can be transformed into two bracelets, a choker, and even a brooch, so several metamorphoses out of one creation.

The exhibition runs until 31 October at Van Cleef & Arpels Dubai Opera on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. Cover image:

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