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Van Cleef & Arpels Sapphire and Diamond “Camellia” Brooch


This Van Cleef & Arpels blue sapphire and diamond "Camellia" brooch evokes the spectacular blossom from Asia that possessed the European imagination from the late 18th century onward. Like their camellia-loving contemporary Coco Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels designers were inspired by the sumptuous flower, creating this classic line of jewels that has been beloved since the 1950s. Pinned to a pale gown or jacket, this highly-stylized and sophisticated bloom is an instantly recognizable Van Cleef & Arpels jewel.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-18248
Artist: Van Cleef & Arpels Paris, sold in New York
Country: France
Circa: 1960s
Size: 2.25” length, 2” width
Materials: 13 Round-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 10.00 carats); 40 Round- and oval-cut sapphires (approximate total weight 22.00 carats); Platinum
Signed: "Van Cleef & Arpels N.Y. 40223"
Literature: Earrings of same design are pictured, in rubies and diamonds, in Van Cleef & Arpels L’Art De La Haute Joaillerie, by Evelyne Possémé, Les Arts Decoratifs, 2013, p. 187

Influenced by Alexandre Dumas' wildly popular 1848 novel, “Lady of the Camellias,” the camellia flower became an enduring symbol of love, exoticism and freedom in France. Worn by both women and men of French intelligentsia of the late 19th century, the bloom embellished the lapels of men and was worn as a hair ornament or corsage by women. A continual source of inspiration at Van Cleef & Arpels, the flower’s mesmerizing power has become synonymous with Parisian chic.