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Van Cleef & Arpels Montana Sapphire and Diamond Leaf Bracelet


Set with Montana sapphires and diamonds, and mounted in 18K gold, this Van Cleef & Arpels New York bracelet dates from 1955. Designed a curving vine of pavé-set sapphire leaves joined by gold tendrils, and highlighted by clustered diamond buds and dewdrops, the bracelet is completed by a double strand of curved, highly-flexible snake chain. Draping softly on the wrist, this lively bracelet is a richly-colored and beautifully-modeled statement of bejeweled and sparkling naturalism.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BA-19988
Artist: Van Cleef & Arpels, New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1955
Size: 6.25" length, 0.625" width
Materials: 92 Round-cut Montana sapphires (approximate total weight 9.20 carats); 16 Round-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 1.92 carats); 18K Gold (total weight 38.6 grams)
Signed: “Van Cleef & Arpels NY” with the numbers “18953”
Documentation: A suite of “Leaf” jewels in Montana sapphires and diamonds was pictured in the Van Cleef & Arpels New York catalog of 1955
Literature/Exhibition History: A Montana sapphire and diamond bracelet of this design, enclosing a watch, is pictured on p. 100 of Sarah Coffin’s Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels, published to coincide with the Van Cleef & Arpels 2011 exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum in New York; The leaf bracelet watch and other “Leaf” designs are held in Van Cleef & Arpels’ heritage collection, as well as at Hillwood, the estate museum of Marjorie Merriweather Post

The heiress and celebrated jewelry collector Marjorie Merriweather Post was enchanted by Van Cleef & Arpels “Leaf” jewels, and purchased an entire suite including a version of this bracelet, earrings, watch and brooch. The celebrated Life photojournalist, Albert Eisendstadt, famed for the iconic image V-J Day in Times Square (1945), captured Mrs. Post wearing her Leaf jewels on more than one occasion. They became the jewels to own in the 1950s. Van Cleef & Arpels selected from a parcel of beautifully-matched Montana sapphires, a deposit first discovered and popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At their best, as here, they display a vibrant, crystalline blue. The design of this jewel is emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpel’s chic, stylized motifs, often immediately recognizable, always interpreted through the lens of its designers’ love of nature in all its animal, floral and foliate forms.