Every year, Van Cleef & Arpels gives voice to its creativity with a new limited edition of the Vintage Alhambra pendant. Today, the Maison is renewing its partnership with the illustrious Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, on a pendant that blends Celestial Blue porcelain with yellow gold to form a solar harmony.
A REFINED ASSOCIATION OF MATERIALS
An icon of Van Cleef & Arpels, the Alhambra collection has taken on an elegant range of interpretations since 1968, lending itself to a rich variety of materials and occasions. To celebrate the holiday season under the auspices of luck, the Vintage Alhambra pendant is this year adorned with Celestial Blue Sèvres porcelain. Created by the Manufacture more than 250 years ago, the color interacts with the sunny overtones of yellow gold in a brand new association of great refinement. Sparkling at the center of the motif, a delicately set round diamond illuminates the neckline.
TWO LEADING NAMES IN FRANCE’S CULTURAL HERITAGE
For this Vintage Alhambra limited edition, Van Cleef & Arpels has chosen to join forces with the Manufacture de Sèvres, an illustrious name in the French decorative arts. Its traditional craftsmanship – dating back more than 250 years – complements the Maison’s jewelry-making expertise, in a common attachment to excellence and the transmission of savoir-faire.
Founded in 1740 under the influence of Madame de Pompadour, the Manufacture has supplied porcelain tableware and art objects to the kings of France and the country’s leading institutions, along with several foreign royal courts. The quality of its materials, the remarkable virtuosity of its craftsmen and its taste for modernity have brought about an international reputation that continues unabated to this day.
Since 2012, the Maison has collaborated with the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres for limited editions. Different Alhambra creations have been adorned with raspberry pink, bleu de Sèvres and pale pink.
A MEETING OF TRADITIONAL SKILLS
This year, the Maison has chosen the Celestial Blue – created by the Manufacture in 1752 to adorn the first dinner service ordered by King Louis XV. It today embellishes the palette of the Alhambra collection, which brings together hard stones, mother-of-pearl and other noble materials. Much sought-after for its elegance, porcelain is produced from natural materials and pigments, then hand-dyed by the Manufacture’s craftsmen. Its soft, smooth surface offers a luster of great refinement.
Creating an Alhambra motif in Sèvres porcelain requires some twenty separate operations – including firing, polishing and enameling. The material’s specific characteristics led Van Cleef & Arpels to develop a special setting technique that ensures a perfect match between the motif and its gold mount.
A CREATION TO PERSONALIZE
To heighten the exclusivity of this limited edition, each pendant can be personalized with an engraving on the back of the piece. The timeless Alhambra motif thus reflects a personal story or precious moment. Inscribed with a name, date or message, it becomes unique for all eternity.
ALHAMBRA, AN ICON OF LUCK SINCE 1968
“To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,” as Jacques Arpels – Estelle Arpels’ nephew – used to say. Ever cherished by the Maison, luck is a value that has often guided its footsteps and inspired some of its most emblematic creations. The first Alhambra long necklace was created in 1968, blending yellow gold with the pure lines of the motifs inspired by the four-leaf clover. This symbol of harmony, edged with beads of gold, was an immediate success – establishing itself as a distinctive lucky emblem of Van Cleef & Arpels. In keeping with the Maison’s tradition of excellence, the Alhambra collection reflects all its High Jewelry expertise. From the choice of materials through to the final polishing, traditional skills come together to create an iconic piece that will stand the test of time.