You may love fairies, but what do you really know about them? From the first identified renderings dating back to Antiquity to contemporary high jewelry designs, the fairy is a creature of many facets
[Video] Precious Fairy: From Fantasy to Reality
You may love fairies, but what do you really know about them? From the first identified renderings dating back to Antiquity to contemporary high jewelry designs, the fairy is a creature of many facets.
Derived from the Latin Fata for “goddess of destinies,” the French word fée (fairy) first appeared during the Middle Ages, but the powerful figure of Potnia Theron, Mistress of Nature, had already been depicted in ancient Greece with a winged silhouette embellished with jewels. It wasn’t until medieval times, with the rise of chivalric literature, that benevolent or evil fairies would see the light of day. Alerted by this phenomenon, the Christian church embraced the figure, most notably within the symbolic context of fountains elevated with gemstones, like that of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432).
During the nineteenth century, fairies were associated with the supernatural and became tied to Symbolism before once again joining the realm of fantasy the following century, when they inspired a wealth of pieces of jewelry including pendants and clips, such as the Petite Fée Ailée (Little Winged Fairy) crafted by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1941.
Known for their enchanting ability to suspend time, fairies have also lent their graceful postures to precious pieces of art.
You are only a magical click away from joining us in the land of fairies!
Estelle Icart, heritage conservation project manager at Van Cleef & Arpels, and Inezita Gay-Eckel, jewelry historian at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, will reveal the rich and surprising history of fairies
With Estelle Icart, Patrimony Transmission project manager at Van Cleef & Arpels & Inezita Gay-Eckel, Jewelry Art Historian at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.