Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewellery, watch, and perfume company that was founded in 1896 by Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. They opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 place Vendï¿½me, Paris. Van Cleef & Arpels are renowned for their expertise in precious stones and have won particular acclaim for a groundbreaking gem-setting procedure known as the Mystery Setting.
In 1896, Esther Arpels, the daughter of Salomon Arpels, a dealer in precious stones, married Alfred Van Cleef, whose family were sheet merchants living in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. That same year, Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels had already established a company with the aim of ï¿½founding and running a jewellery businessï¿½. In 1906, they registered the ï¿½Van Cleef & Arpelsï¿½ trademark and opened a boutique at 22 place Vendï¿½me. They were soon joined by Estherï¿½s brothers, Salomon, Jules and Louis Arpels. Alfred Van Cleef died in 1938, leaving his daughter, Renï¿½e Rachel Puissant, behind him. From 1909 to 1939, Van Cleef & Arpels prospered and opened boutiques in holiday resorts such as Deauville, Le Touquet, Nice and Monte-Carlo.
Progressively, the second generation joined the business. In 1942, the Arpels family emigrated to America and opened their first boutique in New York, on 5th Avenue. Later, Van Cleef & Arpels became the first French jewellers to open boutiques in Japan and China. Over the years, the firm was always managed by a descendant of the Arpels family, until it was acquired by the Compagnie Financiï¿½re Richemont S.A. in 1999. The companyï¿½s prestige stems from a long list of prominent commissions issued by royal and imperial courts, financiers and industrial magnates, which have enabled Van Cleef & Arpels to be active today not only in Europe and the United States, but also in Asia and the Middle East.
In 2009, the company released a line of luxury perfumes called Collection Extraordinaire, comprising six fragrances.