An Elegant and Iconic Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire and Diamond 'Zip' Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels

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  • Condition Report

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    • Necklace set with calibrè-cut lapis lazuli, step-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamonds

    • Tassel set with graduating lapis lazuli beads
      Diamonds totalling approximately 8.00 carats

    • 18 karat white gold

    • French assay mark

    • Signed Van Cleef & Arpels and numbered JH 001672

    • Necklace and bracelet lengths approximately 465 and 205mm respectively

    With a Van Cleef & Arpels fitted box and extra bracelet fitting

  • Video

    Van Cleef & Arpels, 'An Elegant and Iconic Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire and Diamond 'Zip' Necklace', Lot 656

    Jewels & Jadeite, 25 November

  • Catalogue Essay

    Often hidden on modern day garments as a functional component, zippers were invented in the late 19th century specifically for high-button boots. Later in the 1930’s, it made its way to haute couture as a practical substitute for buttons and hook-and-eye closures. Legend has it that the Duchess of Windsor saw this humble accessory on a dress created by one of her favourite couturiers Elsa Schiaparelli and in 1938, she told Renée Puissant, the then Creative Director of Van Cleef & Arpels, how she thought it could be transformed into an amazing jewel. The Maison eventually lived up to that expectation and made an accomplishment far beyond imagination.

    The idea to translate a zipper into an elegant piece of jewellery was proven to be technically challenging. Even with the exceptional prowess of Van Cleef & Arpels, who also famously invented the emblematic mystery-setTM, it took their craftsmen more than a decade to perfect the ‘zip’ mechanism. The first-ever zip necklace (collier fermeture éclair) debuted in 1951, with an ingenious design that allows it to be zipped open as a necklace and zipped together into a bracelet.

    Very few examples were made since then, which could be explained by the amount of time required to complete one necklace – anywhere from 400 to 1200 hours with skilled craftsmen. The ‘zip’ is composed of a series of tiny gold or platinum cups held by hooks, which mesh with each other when brought together by a sliding closure. Aside from the technical mastery, the versatility of a zip necklace was also the reason for its iconic status in the high jewellery world.

    In recent years, Van Cleef & Arpels revisited the design and created a limited number of ‘zip’ necklaces, experimenting with various lengths, different closure configurations and daring colour combinations of gemstones. Many of the longer versions function only as a necklace.

    This ‘zip’ necklace on offer, studded with an elegant palette of blue gemstones and diamonds, belongs to the very few examples that appear in international auctions. It is an exemplary jewel honouring the original idea where it is convertible into a bracelet with an attractive lapis lazuli tassel charm. The 18 karat white gold sets it apart from vintage examples of the same design, heighted by modernity in a refined tone of ultramarine. At the heart of this masterpiece is the originality in the Maison’s creation and highly specialized and exclusive artistry.

  • Catalogue Essay

    拉鏈發明於19世紀末,起初主要運用在高筒皮靴上,到了20世紀三十年代才開始出現在高訂服裝上,用來取代鈕釦和鈎眼釦,令穿著更方便。這個現代人一點都不陌生的裝置後來成為了梵克雅寶經典設計的原始概念。故事可追溯到1938年,當時溫莎公爵夫人在伊爾莎·斯奇培爾莉為她訂製的禮服上看到縫上的拉鏈,頗為驚喜,之後跟梵克雅寶的藝術總監、阿爾弗萊德‧梵克之女雲妮‧普伊索見面提起此事,提議品牌可以拉鏈為原型創作一款珠寶。梵克雅寶不負厚望,其後打造出為後人津津樂道的傳奇Zip(拉鏈)項鏈。

    此構想著實是創意非凡,但在執行上卻是難關重重。即使梵克雅寶素來以精湛工藝見稱(品牌的隱密式鑲嵌為另一重要發明)亦花了超過十年的時間琢磨,才完成了這項艱難的任務。全球第一條的Zip項鏈終於在1951年面世,不但成功複製拉鏈的開合功能,更能在拉鏈合上後轉換成手鏈,時至今日,此工藝成就仍叫人驚嘆。

    雖然克服了技術上的困難,但打造Zip項鏈十分耗時,就算是最有經驗的梵克雅寶工匠團隊,也需要約400至1200工時才能完成一條項鏈。拉鏈的結構由許多的小杯組成,並用微形的小勾連結,拉鏈拉上的時候,小杯就會一個疊一個地結合起來。只要加額外的小配件,項鏈就能搖手一變成為手鏈,這種多功能性也是Zip項鏈成為劃時代珠寶傑作的原因之一。

    近年來梵克雅寶為此經典造型帶來了嶄新的設計, 無論是在長度、拉鏈扣或鑲嵌的寶石上都做了不同的嘗試,但成品數量稀少,有一些作品是單純的項鏈,並不能轉換成手鏈。

  • Maker Bio

    Van Cleef & Arpels

    French

    When Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels fell in love, their marriage paved the way for iconic jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels to become a symbol of unification. With their background in precious stone dealing, the Arpels found their perfect match in the Van Cleefs, a family of expert stonecutters. In 1906, Estelle's brother Charles established the company name with Alfred's help and opened shop in the Place Vendôme in Paris. To this day, this Parisian neighborhood is associated with turn-of-the-century luxury.

    The Van Cleef & Arpels aesthetic has always had its finger on the pulse of worldwide trends: For example, the house took inspiration from Tutankhamen upon the Egyptian king's discovery in the 1920s, which spurred a global phenomenon marrying Egyptian Revival and Art Deco motifs. Over the decades, Van Cleef & Arpels has produced intricate watches, earrings and necklaces with a signature elegance that mirrors contemporary tastes. 

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An Elegant and Iconic Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire and Diamond 'Zip' Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels

青金石配藍寶石及鑽石「Zip」項鏈, 梵克雅寶

Estimate
HK$3,500,000 - 4,500,000 
$450,000-580,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Terry Chu
Head of Jewellery, Asia, Senior Director
+852 2318 2038

Jewels & Jadeite

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019