Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace, ca. 1940
Well, it was my mother's, one of her favorite pieces. And when she died, I took claim of it. And I love it, and I wore it until I had too many chins and couldn't wear it anymore. So now it's up for grabs among the grandchildren, or whoever I think should get it.
The maker is?
I believe it's Van Cleef & Arpels for the necklace. I never found a mark on the brooch.
Well, you're right, it is Van Cleef & Arpels. And Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in Paris in 1896. And they have locations now all over the world. They are world-renowned designers. The Duchess of Windsor had some of her favorite pieces known by Van Cleef & Arpels. But this one is not from Paris. This is Van Cleef & Arpels New York. This is from the 1940s. Now, in the 1940s, they had a couple of innovations. One thing was, they used thinner gold, so they could make heavier-looking pieces, but they were lightweight. So what we have here, this is called a snake chain.
It's also called gas pipe or mouse tail. It has a flexibility, and it's very comfortable to wear. It also has an innovative clasp which has a lock on the back of it. And that's where the signature is found, so I'm going to show you that. It says "Van Cleef & Arpels NY," which stands for New York. The brooch is not signed. But indeed, it is a Van Cleef & Arpels, also. It is 14-karat yellow gold. The brooch has rubies and diamonds. And there's a cool feature on this. It's a double-prong, called "fur clip," brooch. And it slides... out of the necklace. So it's easily worn as a brooch, or as a necklace. You can wear it either way. I have. At a good retail location, this would sell for between $8,000 and $12,000. GUEST (slowly): Okay... oh!
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