Jewelry of Princess Grace of Monaco On Display At The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Exhibition, Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels

Tiara Photo: Patrick Gries/Van Cleef & Arpels

Precious jewelry owned or worn by American-born Princess Grace of Monaco are featured treasures in Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels, an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is now open and runs through June 5, 2011.

Among her much-cherished pieces – on loan from His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco — are brooches (a diamond and sapphire flower; a lion, and a bird in precious stones); from the Alhambra Collection, a clover pendant in gold and crystal and a clover necklace in gold and malachite; a diamond bracelet set in platinum which she often wore on official occasions and her engagement gift of a pearl and diamond necklace, bracelet and earring set. A diamond tiara from the Van Cleef & Arpels collection worn by Princess Grace is also on display.

“This exquisite collection provides a rare glimpse at some of the most beautiful jewelry and objets d’art belonging to the Princess, and some pieces including her engagement gift, were especially treasured by her, “ said Hon. Maguy Maccario, Consul General and Director of the Monaco Government Tourist Office in New York.  “This exhibition comes as we celebrate the highly anticipated summer wedding of her son, Prince Albert II to Ms. Charlene Wittstock this July.”

The exhibition, organized by Sarah Coffin, curator and head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department explores the historical significance of the firm’s contributions to jewelry design in the 20th century, including the establishment of Van Cleef & Arpels in New York with the advent of World War II. Its timeless pieces have been worn by style icons and includes objects such as the “Manchette” emerald bracelets, owned by Daisy Fellowes, which could be transformed to become one necklace; Elizabeth Taylor’s amethyst, coral and diamond bracelet and pendant earrings; a bracelet and necklace owned by Eva Peron; “Etruscan” cuffs similar to the ones worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; and the “Jarretière” bracelet owned by Marlene Dietrich, which she wore in the movie Stage Fright.

The exhibition features more than 350 works, including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories and objets d’art by Van Cleef & Arpels, drawn from numerous private collections and institutions, as well as the Van Cleef & Arpels’ museum collection. These objects, many of which were created exclusively for American clientele, will be supplemented with design drawings, commission books, fabrication cards and imagery from the firm’s archives.

About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Founded in 1897, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967. The museum is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. For opening hours, ticket prices and more information, please call (212) 849-8400 or visit The museum is fully accessible.

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