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[Tidbits] In The Beginning


#1

There was Esther.

One day whilst crawling along at lightening speed through cyberspace
riding the dexterous keyboard of hyperdrive … I came upon an
interesting fact as it relates to a woman by the name of Estelle
Arpels… except that her name was never Estelle… even after she
married her cousin Alfred Van Cleef on June 9th, 1895.

On all the sites on the Internet that speak of Van Cleef Jewelers
whether magazines such as l’Express… or sales venues such as
Sotheby’s… statements always refer to Mrs. Van Cleef as Estelle
which would be all fine and dandy if it were not for the fact that
"Estelle" whose first name is derived from the Latin Stella… was
born Esther on January 2, 1877and died Esther on December 24, 1960.

This is a rather strange phenomenon when considering the fame
achieved by this outstanding firm who–I believe–was not only the
forerunner of invisible setting but also the first to perfect that
technique. For those of you out there who are purists and information
is all nice but we read your stuff Benjamin because we want to see
some jewelry… for you folks I have a fine example of a Van Cleef &
Arpels flexible bracelet set with calibr=e square sapphires which is
far far more in craftsmanship than might appear at first glance.

I am having a bit of trouble tearing myself away from the history of
the Arpels who were both Jewish as well as related to the Van Cleefs.
Esther’s mother was the sister of the mother of Alfred Van cleef.
Esther was decorated in 1916 with the Medaille de la Croix Rouge
Franaise for her work as a nurse in association with Madame de
Rotschild during the war. Esther Arpels was one fine human driven by
nobility of purpose. Allow me–as I tear myself away from the
historical… to segue to the bracelet.

It has five rows of stones. It is totally flexible. And it has
diamond baguettes in the clasp. But it is the complete flexibility of
this invisible setting that knocks my socks off. I would love to hold
something like this in my hands for a few moments. It was made in
1950. In 1995 it was valued at around $40,000. I think today’s value
would be over $56,000.

As I analyze Tidbits… as I am occasionally wont to do… I like to
believe one of its attractions is brevity. And so I will stop with
the history lest I end up boring instead of-- hopefully–
interesting.

That said:

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages a bracelet made by Van Cleef & Arpels that speaks of the
highest levels of craftsmanship.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark