23/04/2021

THAILAND DAILY

NEWSPAPER / MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER

the-mystery-set,-a-patented-art-form-of-jewellery-making-by-van-cleef-&-arpels

The Mystery Set, a Patented Art Form of Jewellery-Making by Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels vaunts a rich history of pioneering innovation, perfecting unique techniques through immense savoir-faire indicative of the maison’s spirit of creation.

The Mystery Set finely illustrates the luxury jeweller’s ability to combine vivacity with sparkle while inviting curiosity.

First patented in 1933, the Mystery Set technique showcases the beauty of gemstones as metal gives pride of place to glittering plays of light. The effect of rendering the precious metal invisible is the absolute accentuation of the gems. Distinct hand-picked stones are selected not only for their specific colour, size, clarity and cut, but also to complement their counterparts in a symphony of beauty and artistry. In the hands of the masterful craftsmen at Paris’ 22 Place Vendôme, gemstones take on radiant movement, voluminous dimension and enhanced brilliance.

Cascade mystérieuse necklace, 2016
Cascade mystérieuse necklace, 2016.

The revolutionary process sees each stone seamlessly set to create a harmonious sequence, without the interruption of any metal prongs. The secret of the technique lies in gold rails, which specially cut stones are insert onto individually. Rubies remain the most popular for use with the method, alongside equally vibrant emeralds and sapphires. After countless hours of custom cutting to create concavities for the rails and perfecting the shape, the gems are perfectly puzzled together to cover the set surface with a lustrous sheen.

The meticulous process is achieved through several stages. Up to hundreds of gems are laid within a grid-like structure that often adheres to an organic curve. This thoughtful placement celebrates the natural contours of the design, renewing an appreciation for the captivating hues of gems as they blend in the petals of a flower or the folds of a ballerina’s tutu. Careful adjustments are made beneath magnification to ensure that none of the stones encroaches upon one another. The microscopic inspection of their perfect placement ensures a uniform, undulating field of glittering refinement.

Campanules clip, 1969
Campanules clip, 1969.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ endless pursuit of innovation has resulted in developing additional techniques to complement the Traditional Mystery Set. The Navette Mystery Set uses polished marquise-cut stones to bring creations to life through a stunning 3D effect evocative of a bird’s plumage. Additionally, the Virtrail Mystery Set conceals the mounting on both sides of a piece, playing on the stones’ translucency. Meticulously buffed, they come alive in a medley of reflections and nuances.

Instilling Van Cleef & Arpels’ stunning creations with a dazzling effect of colour, volume and movement, the maison’s advancing techniques herald an exciting future of possibilities.

 Libellule rubis, 2014
Libellule rubis, 2014.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ endless pursuit of innovation has resulted in developing additional techniques to complement the Traditional Mystery Set. The Navette Mystery Set uses polished marquise-cut stones to bring creations to life through a stunning 3D effect evocative of a bird’s plumage. Additionally, the Virtrail Mystery Set conceals the mounting on both sides of a piece, playing on the stones’ translucency. Meticulously buffed, they come alive in a medley of reflections and nuances.

Instilling Van Cleef & Arpels’ stunning creations with a dazzling effect of colour, volume and movement, the maison’s advancing techniques herald an exciting future of possibilities.

(All images: Van Cleef & Arpels)


This story was first published Prestige Malaysia’s February 2021 issue. To read the latest issue, pick up a copy from the nearest newsstand or subscribe on Magzter.

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