With Her Majesty the Queen becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service, we felt it was apt to choose a platinum piece of jewellery for Hancocks London’s Jewel of the Month.
This beautiful and unusual platinum and diamond necklace was made by Van Cleef and Arpels in New York circa 1942. The articulated necklace is made entirely of platinum and has a straight ribbon form with a double domed profile. It is set across the width at regular intervals with 63 inlaid rows of transition cut diamonds, each row composed of three stones. Somewhat unusually for fine jewellery of this period, the platinum has been given a soft brushed satin finish which creates a slightly utilitarian edge to the piece. The necklace includes a total of 189 diamonds with an estimated weight of around 4cts in total. It measures 36cm /14.1 inches long so would have been worn in the style of a choker.
An advertisement in American Vogue in 1943 shows a Van Cleef necklace of this design worn with a stylish black dress made by American designer Ceil Chapman who was noted for creating glamorous cocktail and party dresses. Guy Burton, Director of Hancocks London, comments: “The brushed platinum has a cool, almost industrial feel to it, and the contrast between the relatively matte metal and the sparkling diamonds is very effective.”
In 1939, Van Cleef & Arpels had exhibited very successfully at the New York World’s Fair which coincided with the opening of an office in the Rockefeller Centre and expansion into the American market. A workshop soon followed which was dedicated to making jewellery designed to cater specifically for the American taste and aesthetic. This is one such piece, made relatively early in VCA’s New York history. Guy Burton adds: “It may be 80 years old, but this necklace has a timeless appeal and enduring modernity to it and truly celebrates the allure of platinum and its perfect partnership with diamonds.”