03 October 2019

               A Rare and Unique Diamond, Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli ‘Zip’ Necklace/Bracelet, by Van Cleef & Arpels                   

to be offered at

Phillips’ Hong Kong Fall Sale of Jewels and Jadeite

Exhibition: 22-24 November | Auction: 25 November
JW Marriott Hong Kong

HONG KONG – 3 October 2019 – This fall, Phillips auction house is proud to offer a rare diamond, sapphire and lapis lazuli ‘Zip’ necklace, one of the most innovative and sought after jewels ever created by Van Cleef & Arpels, at the sale of Jewels and Jadeite on 25 November in Hong Kong.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ legendary ‘Zip’ necklace is the most iconic and truly original jewel created with an intriguing and storied history. Legend has it that in 1938 the Duchess of Windsor suggested to Renée Puissant - the Maison’s artistic director and daughter of Alfred Van Cleef - to create a jewellery piece based on the zip fastener. 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 made its debut in the 1950s, with a design that allows it to be zipped open as a necklace and zipped together into a bracelet.  

As the most brilliant example of craftsmanship and design created by the Maison, very few examples were made since the 1950s, 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 configuration and daring colour combinations of gemstones.

This ‘Zip’ necklace on offer at Phillips’ Hong Kong Fall Sale, 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 white gold set with a refined tone of ultramarine gemstones is a perfect mix of sophistication and glamorous modernity. At the heart of this masterpiece is the originality in the Maison’s creation and highly specialized and exclusive artistry. The ‘Zip’ necklace is so limited in production that it is rarely seen on red carpet events. The most recent appearance was in 2015, when Australian actress Margot Robbie was graced by a vintage example set with sapphires that was of a similar design to the one being offered in this auction.

Phillips Hong Kong Fall Sale 2019: Jewels & Jadeite
25 November 2019, 2pm HKT
Location: JW Marriott, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

PRESS CONTACT:               
HONG KONG – Ingrid Hsu, Public Relations Director, Asia           IngridHsu@phillips.com   +852 2318 2043
LONDON - Katie Carder, Head of Press, Europe                                 kcarder@phillips.com  +44 20 7901 7938
NEW YORK - Jaime Israni, Senior Public Relations Specialist        
jisrani@phillips.com     +1 212 940 1398


Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.

Visit www.phillips.com for further information.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

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