Origins and Growth
Van Cleef and Arpels was founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef, and his uncle-by-marriage, Salomon Arpels. The duo opened their first shop in Paris. Today the jeweller’s flag ship can still be found in Paris at 22 Place Vendome, where the Maisons’ fine collection and elegant designs first bought delight to Parisian high society. The demand from their glamorous clientele was met by the Maison opening further shops in the glamorous locations of Nice and Cannes. In the 20th century the jeweller’s popularity spread over the Atlantic, so that a New York store opened in 1942. The designer’s popularity has not waned in recent years seeing an increased interest in both vintage pieces and their contemporary collections. For example, an 18K gold ‘Alhambra’ necklace and ear-clips selling in 2013 at Sotheby’s for 15,000 USD with an estimate of only 5,000-7.000 USD.