An emblematic creation of the Maison, the 1937 Chrysanthemum clip is composed of petals with Mystery Set rubies (140 carats), diamond volutes (10.89 carats), and a platinum and yellow gold setting hidden under the bountiful petals.
Chrysanthemums are infused with symbolism. Known as an autumn flower, the chrysanthemum is associated with happiness and vital power for its ability to blossom in cold and windy weather. Its Chinese name “ju” means “to gather together,” and according to the language of flowers, offering a red chrysanthemum is a sign of love.
Inspired by flowers since its founding, Van Cleef & Arpels depicts them in a stylized or naturalist way, whether alone or in a bouquet, following a delicate and poetic vision of nature. The chrysanthemum’s eastern origins also symbolize the Maison’s love of dreamy far-off lands.
This clip illustrates an emblematic know-how of Van Cleef & Arpels: the Mystery Set technique. Patented in 1933, this virtuoso setting consists in setting the stones without the metal being visible. The Mystery Set technique is the fruit of both artisan-jeweler master craftsmanship and incredible patience: a single piece requires between six and eighteen months of work, or around 300 hours for one clip.
Workshop drawing featuring a Mystery Set Pastille clip, 1951
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives