A Van Cleef & Arpels Exhibition Is Coming To Riyadh Next Month

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Photographed by Greg Adamski for MOJEH 83

The Saudi National Museum has partnered with Van Cleef & Arpels for an exclusive exhibition

Mark your cultural calendars because Van Cleef & Arpels has announced an unmissable exhibition. Taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Culture, Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love will showcase over 280 jewellery pieces, watches and precious objects alongside rarely seen archival documents. Curated by Alba Cappellieri, Professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University and President of the Milano Fashion Institute, and architect and designer Johanna Grawunder, the exhibition interprets the Maison’s heritage through three chapters: time, nature and love.


Ludo secret watch with flaps, 1949, in yellow gold, platinum, Mystery Set sapphires, and diamonds. This secret watch first launched in 1934 and was named after Louis Arpels, known to his friends as “Ludo.”

Time represents the creative process in a multitude of contexts. Not only a literal reference to the thousands of hours taken to produce such masterpieces, the theme is an homage to Van Cleef & Arpels’ ability to connect past, present and future; constantly evolve; and create era-defining pieces. The 1949 Ludo bracelet-watch, on display in this section, exemplifies these qualities through a sapphire-surrounded secret watch created with mechanisms ahead of its time.

Barquerolles choker, 1971. Transformable into two bracelets, a clip and a pendant in yellow gold with emeralds and diamonds

Nature, the second chapter, is a tribute to Van Cleef & Arpels’ beloved inspiration. Plants, flowers and animals have inspired countless creations, with the Maison bringing its kaleidoscopic palette to life through coloured stones. Lastly, Love features 30 objects, jewels and archival documents portraying the power of precious gifts and love itself. Keep your eyes peeled for the Barquerolles choker that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, received as a gift from her husband Richard Burton. Open from 19 January to 15 April 2023 at the Saudi National Museum.

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