In the 1940s, Van Cleef & Arpels created widely-copied, beautiful ballerina brooches. The inspiration for this High Jewellery collection was the collaboration between Claude Arpels and the renowned choreographer George Balanchine, which gave rise to the ballet Jewels in 1967.
|Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerina Brooch|
An ode to femininity, the ballet series is dedicated to three exceptional gemstones and three different styles of ballet: emeralds with Fauré, rubies with Stravinsky, and diamonds with Tchaikovsky.
In 2007, to commemorate the ballet’s 40th anniversary, the London Royal Ballet performed Jewels at the Royal Opera House in London. Van Cleef & Arpels took part in the celebration by creating the Ballet Précieux High Jewelry collection. Both the original and the tribute brooches are imitating dancers’ elegant poses: apart from ballerinas, there are also opera dancers, Spanish dancers, and fairies.
|The Duchess of Cornwall wearing her Ballerina Brooch|
This particular brooch is in form of a graceful ballerina wearing a tutu. There are rows of sapphires, rubies and diamonds at the hem, waist and sleeves of the dress. The head is adorned with smaller round rubies and a single large diamond. The entire “body” of the ballerina is coved with polished gold.
Camilla has worn this brooch on only a couple of occasions which is a pity because, to me at least, this is one of the most beautiful jewels in her collection. To understand just how breathtaking these brooches can be and their full effect in movement, have a look at the video below.
Remember, the latest instalment of the "Focus On..." series is dedicated to the Duchess of Cornwall’s jewellery collection. You can always check out jewels already covered here.