In the early 1950s, Van Cleef & Arpels decided to interpret several fictional love stories from classic theater. The Maison created two pairs of clips, one depicting Cyrano and Roxane, the protagonists of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, and the other portraying Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare's great masterpiece of 1597.
The latter are represented in the famous balcony scene. Their silhouettes are rendered with yellow gold threads and ribbons, while rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls form their heads, hair and clothing. The simplicity of the composition imbues these theatrical brooches with a poignant sincerity.
Drawing featuring Romeo and Juliet clips, circa 1950
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives