What came drizzling down from the frozen heavens right onto the doorstep of the glacé Garden of Adin is what we call in our trade, a parure. A parure is a matching set of jewellery, meant to be worn together. In the Forties, Van Cleef & Arpels worked closely together with Jack Frost himself to determine the shape of the perfect snowflake. The result of their ambitious collaboration is this tri-coloured 18K gold glistening pair of earrings with a tri-coloured gold matching pendant, also wearable as a brooch.
The most impeccable snow crystals start to grow from half a sphere of 16 brilliant cut diamonds. In the larger crystal, a collar of yellow gold extends from the centre into a first layer of gold branches topped by three diamonds set in white gold. In the smaller pair these gold dendrites form only a singular diamond tip. A second layer of slightly bulging bundles of gold snow needles pop with their triple diamond peaks alternatingly from behind the core. The grand snowflake has even five single brilliant cut diamonds on the base of this iced crown. Ultimately, the fairest frost formation is only fully complete with the elaboration of a third cupped corona with on each summit one diamond.
However humble humans try to apprehend the mysteries of nature, of course Jack Frost would never give away all his secrets. So, thankful we are to receive a little bit of his generosity in giving his magical touch to this dazzling parure in cooperation with Van Cleef & Arpels.
In the book “Les Bijoux de l’art deco aux années 40” by Melissa Gabardi on page 280, you can find a very similar snowflake as another result of Van Cleef & Arpels’ collaboration with Jack Frost. ISBN 2-85917-053-7
Antique jewelry object group: A pair of earrings and a pendant. The pendant is also wearable as brooch.
Signature: Van Cleef & Arpels
Extra info on van Cleef & Arpels: The first Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry store was created in 1906 by Charles, Julien and Louis Arpels, in partnership with their brother-in-law Alfred Van Cleef. They soon reached international recognition and in 1942, they had the possibility to open a new store in New York on the famous Fifth Avenue.
Condition: excellent condition
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Country of origin: France
Style: Fifties (of the twentieth century)
- See also: Fifties (of the twentieth century) or more info on styles
Period: ca. 1940-1950
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Source of inspiration: Mother Nature - Snowflakes and winter
Material: 18K tri-color (red, yellow, white) gold
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Diamonds in the brooch: 51 brilliant cut diamonds with an estimated weight of ± 4.10ct. and five single brilliant cut diamonds (also called 8/8) with an estimated weight of ± 0.10ct.
Diamonds in the earrings: 82 brilliant cut diamonds with an estimated weight of ± 3.70ct.
Total diamond weight: approx. 7.90 crt (colour and clarity: E/G, vvs/si)
- All diamond weights, color grades and clarity are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.
Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April.
Hallmarks: The brooch has a French control mark for 18K gold representing an eagle's head (that was in use in France from about 1838) and the French control mark for platinum representing a dog's head (that was in use in France from about 1912). We couldn't find any marks on the earrings.
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Dimensions: Pendant diameter Ø ca. 4,21 cm (1.66 inch) x depth ca. 1,55 cm (0.61 inch) - Earrings diameter Ø ca. 2,68 cm (1.06 inch) x depth ca. 1,35 cm (0.53 inch)
Weight brooch: 20,90 gram (13,44 dwt)
Weight earrings: 18.90 gram (12.15 dwt)
Weight both: 39.70 gram (25.53 dwt)
Reference Nº: 17010-0189
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.
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