Heaven on Earth
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Heaven on Earth

Van Cleef & Arpels' new high-jewellery collection 'Sous Les Étoiles, Heavenly Dreams' looks to the stars for inspiration

Heaven on Earth
Adjusting elements of the reversible white gold Antennae necklace.

In March a new luminous object in the constellation Cassiopeia was spotted by a Japanese amateur astronomer, and in May the nova became brighter, enabling observation with the naked eye.

The beauty of Cassiopeia and other cosmic wonders has inspired Van Cleef & Arpels' new high-jewellery collection "Sous Les Étoiles, Heavenly Dreams".

Inspiration for the 150 pieces was drawn from various sources, from depictions offered over centuries by astronomers, artists and writers to magnificent cosmic landscapes recently revealed by astronomical images.

Exploring the collection is like stargazing or taking an astronomy class to discover Cassiopeia, Cepheids, Alcor, Miza, Ison and Iwamoto, to name a few.

Inspired by luminous giant stars, white gold Céphéide necklace with a detachable clip.

Reigning in the northern sky, Cassiopeia is named after the mythological Queen of Aethiopia, the wife of King Cepheus and mother of Andromeda. The W- or M-shaped constellation outlines the queen being confined to her throne, and sometimes hanging upside down as a punishment for her vanity.

Van Cleef & Arpels imagines Cassiopeia as a majestic fairy for the Fée Cassiopée clip. Her dress sparkles with blue and mauve sapphires as well as diamonds set in star-shaped motifs.

King Cepheus also became a constellation where a pulsating star was first observed in 1784. Brighter than the Sun, the luminous giant Cepheids inspire the designs of the Céphéide necklace and earrings with detachable pendants.

White gold Fée Cassiopée clip with diamonds, and blue and mauve sapphires.

Greyish-blue chalcedony cabochons adorn the necklace, punctuated by mauve sapphires, tsavorite garnets and diamond motifs. On the detachable clip, two-tone baguette-cut tanzanites present a gradation from blue to mauve.

Prominent in the northern sky, the Ursa Major or Great Bear constellation is home to the Alcor and Mizar stars that are represented by octagonal-cut sapphires on the Trésor Astral necklace.

It took over a year of research to match the two stones sourced from Burma and Sri Lanka. Despite their distinct origins, the sapphires display a harmony of quality and an intense blue colour, subtly tinged with violet.

Mystery setting of rubies on the Ison cuff bracelet.

Seemingly bursting from the main stones, lines of sapphires and diamonds of assorted cuts accentuate the neck. Superimposed on different levels, they bring a dynamic feel to the open and asymmetric necklace, with no clasp.

Comet-inspired pieces include Ison cuff bracelet, Nuée D'Émeraudes necklace and Iwamoto ring.

The sungrazing Ison didn't make it and disintegrated before reaching its closest approach to the Sun on Nov 28, 2013.

Embellished with diamonds and Mystery-set rubies, the Ison cuff bracelet wraps itself around the wrist. The tail is streaked with rows of diamonds in varying diameters and punctuated with diamond-set pink gold stars.

White gold and platinum Nuée D'Émeraudes necklace with sapphires and emeralds evoking the blue-green glow of the 41P comet.

A member of the Jupiter family of comets, 41P gives a blue-green glow illustrated by sapphires and emeralds on the Nuée D'Émeraudes necklace. The sapphire, emerald and diamond baguettes unfurl in graphic lines while the structure is discreetly articulated to ensure its flexibility to gracefully hug the neckline.

Discovered in 2018, the fast comet Iwamoto also boasts a blue and green radiance captured in a ring set with an octagonal-cut sapphire from Sri Lanka and a hexagonal-cut emerald from Colombia.

Unfurling across two fingers, the ring further sparkles with a whirl of diamonds, tourmalines and emerald cabochons. With an estimated orbital period of 1,317 years, Iwamoto should make a comeback in 3390 AD.

Visible from Earth every 75 years, Halley is a more frequent celestial visitor, whose passage is interpreted in a necklace and ring with interchangeable motifs.

White gold Trésor Astral necklace with sapphires representing Alcor and Mizar stars in the constellation of the Great Bear.

The necklace is illuminated by a pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond, symbolising the comet's head, while white and yellow diamonds of different diameters evoke its tail.

The central yellow diamond can be removed and positioned on a ring with a similar design. Likewise, a motif set with a DFL diamond can also adorn the transformable pieces.

Van Cleef & Arpels' reversible jewellery from the 1930s and 1950s inspire the design of the Antennae necklace with a gradation of no less than 154 pink and mauve sapphires.

It took over two years to assemble the oval and cushion-cut stones. Working with the designers, the gemologists determined the position of each gem on the necklace in order to harmonise their shades, which range from pale pink to intense violet.

The majestic necklace evokes the colours and stars projected out by the collision of two galaxies known as the Antennae, which began 500 million years ago.

Other astronomical phenomena are traced in the "Sous Les Étoiles, Heavenly Dreams" collection, not to mention its tribute to planets and the Milky Way through the stellar high jewellery.

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