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Into the Blue: Van Cleef & Arpel's Mesmerizing Transformable Jewels

TEFAF Meet the Experts are interactive conversations around works of art presented at TEFAF. We hope these conversations encourage visitors to further engage with the incredible objects at the fair and learn from our vast network of knowledgeable experts. The Heritage collection features period pieces of Jewelry and High Jewelry created by Van Cleef & Arpels between the 1920s and 1990s and offered for sale today. Each creation has been subject to archival research in order to trace its history and certify its authenticity. For this edition of TEFAF Maastricht, the Maison will unveil a creation representative of the aesthetic of the 1960s, remarkable for the batch of gems it features along with its sources of inspiration: the magnificence of nature and decorative Indian motifs. Displaying an exceptional ensemble of precious stones, this necklace exemplifies the Maison’s aesthetic in the 1960-1970s. The style is characterized by contrasting combinations of colored stones and diamonds in symmetrical compositions designed to add sparkle to elegant women’s evening gowns. Majestically showcased at the heart of scintillating motifs, 59 sapphires of various origins and shapes reveal their intense blue and delicate hues. This creation also illustrates the renewal of the Maison’s repertoire in the 1950s onwards. Back then, the travels of the Arpels’ brothers around the world particularly inspired the Maison’s jewels. This piece thus borrows from Indian culture, with motifs reminiscent of peacock feathers, the national bird of India that is known for its nobility. Spread out like a fan, the sapphires evoke the ocelli that adorn the animal’s sumptuous iridescent finery. Nature’s ongoing influence throughout the history of Van Cleef & Arpels is evident here in the floral motifs that form the choker. In keeping with the tradition of transformable jewelry, this necklace can also be worn without its largest pendants or metamorphosed into a bracelet. With its delicate articulations, it offers a fluid fall in all of its forms.

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Programming will take place at the Programming Hall, MECC Maastricht. Please note that TEFAF Programming is free with a valid ticket to TEFAF Maastricht. There is limited availability of seats. If you have not registered for programming or bought your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht: click the button “sign up” and purchase your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht.

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Natacha Vassiltchikov, Heritage Collection Deputy Director, Van Cleef & Arpels

Natacha Vassiltchikov joined Van Cleef & Arpels in 2014 after many years at Christie’s Jewelry department in Geneva, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Drawing on her experience in period jewelry, she became Deputy Director of the Heritage Collection, supporting and advising sales teams. Through participation in various events, including art fairs, she works to highlight the beauty of these rare pieces among collectors around the world.

Moderated by Heidi Garnett, Writer and Co-Founder, Gem X

Heidi Garnett is a writer and gemologist based in London, though originally hailing from New York City. Her passion is unearthing and telling fresh stories about jewelry, art and people, which bring new insights to the world. Her writing about topics ranging from diamond mining in Angola to the making of museum exhibitions at The Met have appeared in publications as varied as The Wall Street Journal and the African Business Magazine.

Heidi is the co-founder of Gem X, a club that curates events and content for jewelry lovers around the world. The popularity of Gem X and its online content series Gemflix have been covered by such publications as The New York Times in ”“Bonding Over Jewellery”“ and British Vogue in ”“Tired of Netflix? Try Gemflix”“.
Heidi holds Graduate Gemologist and Graduate Pearl degrees from the Gemological Institute of America, a MA in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and a dual degree in Literature and Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University. You can follow her on Instagram @heidisgems, @gemxclub and #gemflix.”