Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Endless Emeralds

Necklace. Paris, France, ca. 1938. Emeralds, diamonds, platinum.

From the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s exhibit Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels. There is so much bling on display that during the press preview no one except me paid any attention to this stunning 1938 emerald and diamond necklace. I had it all to myself.

From the exhibit book by Sarah D. Coffin:

“Women enjoyed more freedoms than ever in 1920s Paris, and VC&A responded with new object and jewelry designs that showed an innovative move toward larger and heavier pieces that continued into the 1930s.”

I thought this was a wonderful way to showcase the back of the necklace, by installing a tiny mirror to allow the viewer to see the clasp. The Exhibition Object Guide says this necklace can be worn “either way up since the diamond motifs are different.”

Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels is on display at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through June 5, 2011.


sacramento said...

Absolutely magnificent.
Thank you for sharing.
Much love, my dear Jill.

Anonymous said...

This is just gorgeous. am i seeing blue tones in the stones?

jill815 said...

Hi Sacramento, I just saw it's your blog birthday. Congratulations!

jill815 said...

Hi Terri, you know, in the book the stones are so deeply green that I think there are blue tones in them.

Cloud of Secrets said...

*gasp* This is the kind of fine jewelry I want. BIG fine stones, plenty of them, and more stone than setting! When I'm rich perhaps I'll have to collect 1920s and 1930s jewelry.

It's strange to me that big fine jewelry would be a trend amid the Great Depression. Who had the money to make such things a trend? Or were fine stones and craftsmanship unusually cheap at the time?

jill815 said...

Hi Sarah, that is a great question. I am going to pull out the Set in Style book and see if Sarah Coffin and the other writers answer it. The older I get the more I am into style from the 1930's in clothes, advertisements, jewelry. And I've always had a soft spot for the 1920's. I wish you were here so we could go look at this exhibit together. I need to see it again.