Brooch, 2007 Raised white gold, gold beads, egg shell lacquer on mother-of-pearl support on white gold, round-cut diamonds. Gift of Van Cleef and Arpels. 2011-42-1.
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?
From Acquisition Justification: "The butterfly has been a recurring motif for Van Cleef & Arpels with designs ranging from realistic renderings to the fanciful creatures in turquoise and rubies from the 1940s. Current production includes a combination of the jewelry art of working in gold and diamonds mixed with Japanese lacquering techniques. The butterfly form is created in gold with a mother-of-pearl base in the Van Cleef & Arpels workshops. The pieces are then sent to Japan where the lacquering is created to previously approved designs based on Japanese symbolism. These master craftsmen have been trained in centuries-old techniques which can be found elsewhere in the collection, (such as inro,... more