The Venue: ArtScience Museum, Singapore
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You can’t miss the building. Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, it’s shaped like a lotus flower in bloom that sits atop a small pool of water and is a work of art in itself.
The Headline Act: Bird clip and pendant, 1971-1972
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This striking bird in flight is adorned with emeralds, sapphires and yellow gold and carries a plump, 96.62 carat yellow diamond in its beak. It is the face of the exhibition and the triumphant first piece that you'll encounter on entering the gallery.
The Ancient Wonder: “Marra Mamba”
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This slice of jasper, named “Marra Mamba”, displays fiery reds and golds. It hails from the Pilbara in Western Australia and is 2.6 billion years old.
The Incredibly Clever: Zip necklace, 1954
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This versatile piece of jewellery uses a zip to transform a necklace into a bracelet. It was first produced by Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1950s after being imagined in the late 1930s by the Duchess of Windsor.
The It Bag: Wild rose Minaudière, 1938
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The Minaudière is an evening bag fashioned after a cigarette box that pretty much carries it all: a vanity mirror, lighter, lipstick, notepad and pen, dance card, pill box, cigarette case, watch, opera glasses and more – all of it wrought, or cased, in gold. It was patented by Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1930s.
The Fashionable Band: Egyptian inspiration bracelet, 1924
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Produced by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1924, this exquisite band features an Ancient Egyptian art-inspired motif – a style that was all the rage in the 1920s. It is set with buff-top emeralds, sapphires, rubies and pave diamonds, and calibrated onyx stones.
The Crown Jewels: Peony clip, 1937
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One of Van Cleef & Arpels' most voracious clients was Princess Faiza of Egypt. This peony clip, comprising 640 square-cut Burmese rubies surrounded by ‘foliage’ of 239 diamonds, is one of many of her former crown jewels that are on display.