The state-of-the-art jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels once inspired George Balanchine to create the famous Jewels ballet, which later triumphed across the world. Van Cleef & Arpels happily reciprocated and since then, many of the House’s collections have been born of this mutual affection. The 2012 Precious Ballets collection was dedicated to some of the most outstanding Russian ballets, namely, The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, The Rite of Spring, Swan Lake, and The Golden Fish.
Our idea was that these jewels would fit perfectly into the ballet settings, so we found several rare sketches of scenography in the storerooms of Bakhrushin Theater Museum, The Bolshoi Theater, Museum of Theater and Music, and Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Inspired by these sketches, the craftsmen carved and hand painted models of the scenery. Serving as the “backdrop” for the jewels, they gave them new depth and meaning.These models went on a world tour next year and were exhibited at Van Cleef & Arpels boutique windows in Europe and America.