The ethereal ballerinas of Van Cleef & Arpels originated from Louis Arpels’ passion for classical ballet and opera. These beloved figurative clips began with the artistic collaboration of Maurice Duvalet, a French-born designer who moved to America at the end of World War I, and John Rubel, the House’s manufacturer who had just emigrated from Paris. With the first examples created in the 1940s, the glittering ballerina clips depicted the feminine figure in various graceful forms and positions of classical ballet with faces represented by a rose-cut diamond. Today, the ballerina continues to take center stage in Van Cleef & Arpels contemporary repertoire of designs, including the Daphnis ballerina clip, circa 2008, featured in the exhibition.