Van Cleef & Arpels – The Midnight Palais de la Chance, Four Leaf Clover Watch

Gold sculpting, champlevé enamel, translucent enamel, Lapis Lazuli selection and marquetry and diamond setting using DEF/ VVS stones all collide in this incredible unique Midnight Palais de la Chance Trèfles Décor timepiece, generously donated by Van, Cleef & Arpels to the Revolution x The Rake Covid-19 Solidarity Auction.  

Beyond the beauty related to workmanship, craft and design, jewelry has always had a strong anthropological significance, as tokens of protection or to bestow good fortune upon its wearer. Bones from successful hunts refashioned into necklaces were meant to provide added prowess to hunters. Amulets and bangles were fashioned to ward off illness or to symbolize a sense of belonging to a tribe or society. Rings were fashioned to signify the sacrosanct bond between human beings. And this significance was not lost on Van Cleef & Arpels scion Jacques Arpels, who’s favorite saying was “To be lucky you must believe in luck.”

Arpels, who was inspired by symbols of luck in nature was particularly drawn to the Four-Leaf Clover. In nature a four-leaf clover is extraordinarily rare. Only one in every 10,000 clovers is, in fact, a four-leaf clover. The leaves of the four-leaf clover said to stand for, “Faith, hope, love and luck.”


Social anthropologists have traced the origin of this belief to the bible and the story of Adam and Eve. After the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, it is believed Eve plucked a four-leaf clover to take with her to remind her of the paradise she had lost.

But the symbol really gained its modern connotation through Irish folk lore that elevated the four-leaf clover to a powerful symbol of good luck. Today the four-leaf clover is still used by brand such as Alfa Romeo and even Space X, to symbolize good fortune.

Arpels famously used the four-leaf clover to forge the design DNA for the Alhambra collection, a line of jewelry that appeals to women of all generations. Says Hugues de Pins the managing director of Van Cleef & Arpels for South East Asia and Australia, “It is incredible how we will have clients that comprise of mothers and daughters, and the Alhambra and the iconography of the four-leaf clover, resonates with them in the same way.”


June 2020


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