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VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Bagatelle Convertible Bombe Suite in 18k Yellow Gold.
An important mid-century retro suite from Van Cleef & Arpels converging two designs emblematic of the Maison: the domed voluminous forms of ‘Pelouse’ (in some books this look is also referred to as ‘Couscous Passementerie’) decorated with floral motifs stemming from the ‘Hawaii’ collections. This Van Cleef & Arpels Bagatelle Convertible Bombe Suite consists of a pair of dimensional earrings, a complimentary cocktail ring, as well as a necklace that cleverly separates into a pair of bracelets.
All pieces in this demi-parure feature bombé forms of faceted indigo sapphires and crimson rubies with white diamond seeds; intermittently painted throughout. This offers surges of color within the ‘couscous passementerie’ budding gold beads. That said, the look is similar to the decorative ‘petit point’, however, the design of the bracelets holds functional value as well. Each jeweled loop within the adornment is an individually thread on a pliable and spring-like gilded base. Together, the loops meticulously stack to create fluidity in movement. In addition, the bracelets connect to create a seamless collar-length necklace.
The innovative aestheticism of the Pelouse combined with its pioneering techniques set the stage for many other fine jewelers at the time. This distinctive Van Cleef & Arpels design is said to have been created in collaboration with Péry et Fils, whose successful creative partnerships include the “Zip” necklace and the “Passe-Partout” collections. As a result, the Bagatelle retro suite is a significant addition to any high jewelry collection. We especially love the convergence of form with function along with its artful design – as if the Pointillism painting style was embodied in a suite of jewels.
Convertible necklace measures approx. 0.60″ in width, 15.5″ in length, with an inner circumference of approx. 14.5″ and an approx. 0.40″ height off the neck. This piece splits into two separate bracelets each measuring approx. 0.60″ in width, 7.75″ in length, with an inner circumference of 7.25″ and a height of 0.40″ off the wrist. Ring measures approx. 0.64″ in width tapering to 0.15″, with a 0.50″ height off the finger. Currently fits a size US 6.75. looks as if it was resized with a gold insert with numbers still visible (current inner diameter approx. 17mm). Each earring measures approx. 0.90″ in length by 0.65″ in width, approx. 0.70″ in height off the ear. Currently configured for pierced ears, with an ear clip for stability.
Necklace/bracelets plus earrings are numbered and Signed “Van Cleef & Arpels“; circa 1950s.