Van Cleef & Arpels

A Pair of 18ct Gold and Mother of Pearl Alhambra Cufflinks

A chic pair of 18ct gold and mother of pearl ‘Alhambra’ cufflinks by Van Cleef & Arpels c.2010, the double ended cufflinks with one large and one smaller head, both formed of the iconic Alhambra quatrefoil clover motif in carved and polished mother of pearl plaques set into 18ct yellow gold surrounds with bar links, the smaller side hinged to allow for ease of wear. The Alhambra motif has become synonymous with the Maison for whom it symbolises luck, health, fortune, and love.

Further Details

Condition ReportVery fine
Setting18ct gold signed VCA, numbered and stamped 750 and with French assay marks
Weight description16 grams
Dimensions2cm in length, the large head 1.5cm in diameter, the smaller one 1.1cm in diameter
Gemstones4 x carved and polished pieces of mother of pearl

Directors Notes

Van Cleef & Arpels launched their Alhambra collection in 1968. It was originally conceived as an 18ct yellow gold long chain necklace with twenty gold four leaf clover motifs that were inspired by the shapes and patterns that Jacques Arpels noted on his travels. At the Doge’s Palace in Venice and the Alhambra in Grenada he saw repeated use of traditional quatrefoil motifs which called to mind the four-leaf clovers he loved to look for in his garden at home in France. A great believer in lucky charms and talismans, Jacques would pick these ‘lucky’ four-leaf clovers to give to friends and colleagues so it seems unsurprising that this motif would work its way into the Maison’s jewellery sooner or later. The original gold necklace from 1968 was soon joined by brightly coloured versions inlaid with gem materials such as malachite, lapis, turquoise, carnelian, mother of pearl and onyx. These soon caught the attention of some of the most glamourous women of the time including Princess Grace of Monaco who was often photographed wearing multiple Alhambra necklaces layered together. Since then, this traditional and timeless symbol of luck has been re-imagined many times over and the collection, which now includes rings, cufflinks, watches, bracelets, pendants and more, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.


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Van Cleef & Arpels

On June 16th 1906 Van Cleef & Arpels opened the doors to their first boutique at number 22, Place Vendôme. Next door to Lalique, opposite the Ritz and a stones throw from Boucheron, this would prove to be the first of many boutiques that the highly successful Maison would open around the world during the 20th Century.

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