Jewelry you don't see every day: the most gorgeous and the most hideous example

By Esther Ligthart on Sunday, 02 July 2017, in Inspiration, Stories

This blog is purely to entertain you. It’s very unlikely that you are about to buy one of these pieces. One is probably a little out of reach for most of us. The other, well...see for yourself. Van Cleef & Arpels did an amazing job with their Automate Fée Ondine. It is not just pure art. It’s a genius piece of work!

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Van Cleef & Arpels

‘’Our aim is to offer excellence in all that we do’’ That was and always has been the credo of the Van Cleef & Arpels company. Estelle, born Esther Arpels married Alfred van Cleef in 1896 and the company Van Cleef & Arpels has been around for 111 years, this year.

The vision as stated above is used in many versions by so many brands. Not just in jewelry. It is, a hollow phrase, as it has been used too lightly by too many.

However, in the case of Van Cleef & Arpels, little needs to be said, their heritage tells it all. Van Cleef & Arpels are known for their high-end jewelry and magnificent watches.  And their star is still shining brightly. For the SIHH 2017, that is the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Ginevra, they created the Automate Fée Ondine.

AutomateFéeOndineVancleef arpels


The Fée (Fairy) itself is absolutely stunning, as is the emerging butterfly. The whole piece is outstanding and takes your breath away. But it is the complication, the imagination and the skills of so many different artisans, that make this piece so incredibly beautiful.

''I can’t help but feel childlike wonder looking at this. It’s like it captures my whole childhood memories of longing and believing in magical wonders'' 

Or the essence of Disney, Efteling or any other fairytale theme park, captured in one mesmerizing piece of extreme luxury and beauty. It’s made for the same purpose as these parks; to entertain, dazzle and create a little bit of magic for our inner child :-)

The Ugliest piece of jewelry?

It must be this Yoda. Ok, so there is a lot of not very pretty jewelry around too, but this is almost a little tacky. Not just tacky, it is kind of a poor image of an icon. If you are a rich geek, crazy about the Star Wars movies, it is perhaps a funny thing to purchase. It should fetch around $3500,- but we have seen objects of desire for true fans being purchased for much more. At least it is made in 14kt gold and diamonds. Although I couldn’t find a trace of the piece anymore, it is claimed to be sold this weekend by Heritage Auctions.


I will give you this, should you think it is your dream piece of jewelry, then remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Whatever my opinion is, if this is the piece of your dreams, you should ignore whatever I say and go for it.

''Because in the end, it seeks to do the same thing as every imaginative piece of jewelry: it wants you to lose yourself a moment from all that is rational and wise, and seduce you, taking your hand, back to a world we all once knew; the world of a child''


Comments (2)

  • Gaurav Malhotra

    Gaurav Malhotra

    08 August 2017 at 16:30 |
    i love the way you think !!! it inspires me, this post is unique and a different post from all what i have read till now !!! its good to read something different that you dont come across daily. great going


    • Esther Ligthart Ligthart

      Esther Ligthart Ligthart

      17 August 2017 at 10:21 |
      Thank you, Gaurav, what a thoughtful message :-)


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