Van Cleef & Arpels The Poetry of Time

Front cover image

Michel Serres, Franco Cologni, Jean-Claude Sabrier and Sharon Kerman Photography by Guy Lucas de Pesloüan

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Éditions Cercle d'Art
Territory: USA and Canada
Size: 11.5 in x 13.5 in
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 211 color

RRP $85.00

  • Showcases the extraordinary jewel-encrusted timepieces created by celebrated jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels

The legendary business of Van Cleef & Arpels was established in Paris in 1898, following the marriage of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels. The couple, along with Estelle's brother Charles Arpels, opened their first boutique in 1906, soon after joined by Julien Arpels.

After more than 100 years, Van Cleef & Arpels are still renowned for their expertise in precious stones and have won particular acclaim for a groundbreaking gem-setting procedure known as the 'serti invisible' (invisible setting), whereby stones and gems are set in a side-by-side formation with no apparent metal or mounting visible from the front.

Van Cleef & Arpels: The Poetry of Time explores the beautiful watches created by this luxurious jeweler. Combining the spirit of invention with the love of precious gems, Van Cleef & Arpels create watches with delicate and elegant lines, pushing imagination and ingenuity to the forefront, endowing their creations with the Haute Jewelry spirit. The company makes a point of reviving traditional skills and developing new techniques, such as three-dimensional enamel and mother-of-pearl marquetry.

Not content to juxtapose precious materials with exceptional gems, Van Cleef & Arpels, like the alchemists of old, instils a soul into its creations.

Michel Serres, philosopher and historian of the philosophy of science, is the author of many books and essays. Franco Cologni is a writer and historian and the author of many books on the history of horology and jewelry. Jean-Claude Sabrier, an antique dealer specializing in horology from 1960 to 1980, has served as a consultant to the Arts and Techniques Museum of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris, as well as to museums in France and abroad. Sharon Kerman, after studies in history and musicology in the United States, has done research and written on such diverse subjects as automata, mechanical singing birds, horological history, Art Deco sculpture, and enamelling. Most of the photographs in this book were taken by Guy Lucas de Pesloüan, a photographer who specializes in still lifes and objects.