What is this?
Abstract butterfly form comprising simple, curved body studded with small diamonds, flanked by wings with mother-of-pearl and egg shell decoration depicting stylized ocean waves in tones of gold, brown, black and white.
Why is this in our collection?
Jewelry design is a significant part of the museum’s decorative arts collection. Historically, the collection has focused on design elements that have sometimes included precious stones but more often are of stylistic interest. Jewelry acquisitions from the late 20th and early 21st century have tended to feature the work of studio designers but, as the museum’s 2011 exhibition, Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels illustrated, there are innovative designs in the world of high jewelry as well. The butterfly has been a recurring motif for Van Cleef & Arpels, with designs ranging from realistic renderings to fanciful creatures in turquoise and rubies from the 1940s. The production of this brooch... more