A value dear to the legendary jewelry house, luck has often guided Van Cleef & Arpels’ steps and inspired some of its most emblematic creations, including the Alhambra collection, inspired by the four-leaf clover.
As early as the 1920s, the four-leaf clover motifs appear in the company’s archives, along with wooden talismans, charms and benevolent fairies. A collector at heart, Jacques Arpels, nephew of the founding couple, used to pick four-leaf clovers in the garden of his home to give to his collaborators as good luck charms, which gave birth to the Alhambra collection.
“To be lucky, you have to believe in luck” said Jacques Arpels. In 1968, the House created the first Alhambra sautoir, inspired by the four-leaf clover and composed of 20 crumpled yellow gold motifs, delicately edged with gold beads. This symbol was an immediate success, establishing itself around the world as an icon of good fortune, emblematic of the jewelry house. The collection is worn by the most famous celebrities, including Grace of Monaco, Romy Schneider, or Françoise Hardy.
Over time, the Alhambra collection has grown to include different sizes of designs, including Sweet Alhambra which is distinguished by its delicate dimensions.
Its characteristic shape is a cloverleaf, but it contains mysteries that would have their origin in the Middle East. The stylized shamrock is actually a Byzantine-inspired quatrefoil, an ornamental motif found in some of the azulejo ceramics of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, or combined with a square to form the refreshing fountains of the palace gardens.
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Featured photo : © Van Cleef & Arpels
Passionnée depuis son plus jeune âge par l’art et la mode, Hélène s’oriente vers une école de stylisme, l’Atelier Chardon-Savard à Paris, avec une option Communication. Afin d’ajouter des cordes à son arc, elle décide de compléter sa formation par un MBA en Management du Luxe et Marketing Expérientiel à l’Institut Supérieur de Gestion à Paris dont elle sort diplômée en 2020. Elle a notamment écrit des articles lifestyle et beauté pour le magazine Do it in Paris et se spécialise en rédaction d’articles concernant le luxe, l’art et la mode au sein du magazine Luxus Plus.********** [EN] Passionate about art and fashion from a young age, Hélène went to a fashion design school, Atelier Chardon-Savard in Paris, with a Communication option. In order to add more strings to her bow, she decided to complete her education with an MBA in Luxury Management and Experiential Marketing at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Paris from which she graduated in 2020. She has written lifestyle and beauty articles for Do it in Paris magazine and specializes in writing articles about luxury, art and fashion for Luxus Plus magazine.