Designed as a ballerina, with a pear-shaped rose-cut diamond face, her headpiece, skirt and fan detailed with circular-cut rubies, old-cut diamonds and turquoise cabochons; signed Van Cleef & Arpels, no. NY5602; 3 inches long.
The "Clip Danseuse" series depicts graceful and lively ballerinas in dancer poses. Louis Arpels was a great admirer of ballet and opera. In the 1940's he charged the French designer Maurice Duvalet, who was living in New York, to create a series of ballerinas. Set with ruby, sapphire and turquoise and rose-cut diamonds these gemstones are meant to demonstrate how the light reflects on a dancers face and costume.
Provenance: This ballerina brooch created in 1943 is from the collection of Mae Boettcher, which was passed onto her though the family generations. Mae was born in Denver in 1912 and married Charles Boettcher II in 1944. Charles Boettcher was a second generation entrepreneur and along with his father Claude, helped officially open the Charles Boettcher Colorado Hall at the Museum of Natural History.