An Exceptional Take on the Zipper Necklace

It was the Duchess of Windsor who, in 1938, first suggested to Renée Puissant, Van Cleef & Arpels’ ­then–­artistic director, that the maison create a piece based on the humble zipper. It took the atelier more than a decade to debut the zipperlike Collier Fermeture Eclair, a flexible jewel that could be converted from a necklace to a bracelet. This circa-2012 zipper necklace, featuring a ribbon set with bright pink sapphires, is a dazzling riff on the original. It sold at an April 7 Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong—following fervent bidding that nudged the final purse to $484,777, more than double its high estimate. “It’s a true icon of the renowned jewelry house,” says Flora Wong, director and senior specialist for Sotheby’s jewelry department in Hong Kong, “and the perfect example of its amazing ability to incorporate everyday objects into jewelry design.”

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