All posts tagged Van Cleef & Arpels

A French Connection; French Fashion Designers

What is it about the French that exemplifies elegance and sophistication? Is it something in the water, or the eau, is it the French air that makes French designers so effortlessly chic? French design is instantly recognizable by the clean silhouettes, and minimalist approach. The French truly believe that “Less is More,” after all, it was Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel who first said “Before you go out, always take something off.” Get to know our Top 5 French Fashion Designers and maisons (in alphabetical order).

1. Cartier

CartierPre-owned Cartier Small Tank Francaise Watch $2,460. Cartier Ballon Bleu Watch with Diamonds $49,500.  Pre-owned Cartier Pasha C Watch $3,700. Pre-Owned Cartier Trinity Ring $8,200.

The “Jeweler to Kings and King of Jewelers,” Cartier was founded  in 1847, when Louis-François Cartier inherited a jewelry workshop in Paris from his master. However, it was his grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, who are responsible for making Cartier a world-renowned brand. In 1904, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend, Louis Cartier, how unreliable pocket watches were when flying. And so, Cartier designed a flat watch that could be worn around the wrist, with a distinctive square bezel, and Cartier’s first men’s wristwatch was born: The “Santos.”

Cartier timepieces are the pure definition of sophistication. From the sleek elegant lines of a Cartier Tank to the masculine details on the Cartier Roadster, each Cartier watch model is a true classic.

In addition to creating iconic timepieces, Cartier has created some of the most coveted jewelry of all time, including the iconic LOVE collection.

Read: The Story Behind the LOVE Collection.

2. Chanel


Pre-owned Chanel Classic Flap Bag $2,100. Chanel Purple Leather Bracelet $699. Chanel Diamond Watch $8,120. Chanel Pink Ombrè WOC $3,200.  Gold ChanelBoy Bag $7,500.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had a very humble start in life, but now she is one of the most important people in the history of fashion. She began her business in 1909, when she opened a hat shop in Paris, which was very popular among ladies of society. A year later, she opened a bigger hat shop at 31 Rue Cambon, and two years later, Coco was selling pret-a-porter women’s clothes. Tired of the unnatural and uncomfortable fashion of the time, mademoiselle Chanel introduced a revolutionary line of clothing made out of jersey and other comfortable materials, that allowed women ease of movement.

Chanel further liberated women’s hands by creating the first bag with long straps, for toting leisure, when she created the Flap bag, one of the most recognizable handbags in the world. Today, the Chanel maison thrives under the direction of Karl Lageferld, continuing to surprise its devotees season after season, but while still keeping the elegance and sophistication first envisioned by Mademoiselle Chanel.

Also see: How to Care for your Chanel bag.

Read: Five Things to Know When Buying Vintage Chanel.

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Designer Jewelry: Fall Picks

Fall Designer Jewelry

The new season brings to lots of new designer items, from luxury handbags, to watches, and the most exquisite jewelry. We asked our creative director, Nick Marmol, to share with us today his top five pieces for the Fall season.

1. Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Bracelet $3,790. This classic Van Cleef & Arpels 18k yellow gold Alhambra bracelet has five Alhambra motifs stationed along the delicate chain. Inspired by nature, the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection is one of the most iconic jewelry pieces of all time. The four-leaf clover motif symbolizes luck, good fortune and love.

2. Hermès Petit h Black and Blue Bracelet $795. This one-of-a-kind bracelet features black lizard with a contrasting blue calf leather trim. The Petit h project began in 2010, when Hermès started upcycling their unused goods. Instead of throwing away scraps of fabric, leathers, and hardware, the Petit h project allowed these materials (that some would consider “scrap”)  to become beautiful and unique pieces.

3. Hermès Rose Scheherazade Alligator CDC $3,995. This is the ultimate exotic Collier de Chien by Hermès. The vibrancy of the Rose Scheherazade alligator is simply spectacular. This shade of pink is highly sought after, and this is the only alligator CDC in Rose Scheherazade we’ve seen with gold hardware. Simply put, this bracelet is beyond sublime.

4. Cartier Yellow Gold Bracelet $5,415. This size 20 LOVE bracelet is one of Cartier‘s most iconic pieces. Inspired by the medieval tradition of the chastity belt, the LOVE bracelets, with their screw closure, are very much sought after. Find out more about the history of Cartier’s LOVE collection.

5. Van Cleef & Arpels White Gold and Diamond Socrate Earrings $5,290. These Van Cleef & Arpels 18k white gold and diamonds “Socrate” stud earrings feature a total of 22 diamonds and minimal signs of wear. Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is some of the most sought after pieces in the world. Crafted with precious stones and the highest quality materials, VCA jewelry often depicts intricate, whimsical designs such as flowers and animals.

If you’re looking for special jewelry pieces for yourself or a loved one, visit for a large selection of pristine and pre-owned fine jewelry.

Red Coral- Hottest Hue in the Vintage Market

Red Coral


The hottest color in the secondary market right now is red coral. Although corals can be found in different hues, like pink, black, white, and yellow, red is the most sought after color. Red coral has been used in decorative items for thousands of years. It is believed that red coral has healing properties, prevents bad fortune, strengthens the circulatory system and nourishes blood cells. In addition, the color red is highly stimulating visually, lifting the mood and protecting from depression and anxiety. Whether or not you believe in the healing properties of red coral, one thing cannot be denied: its beauty.

We have some beautiful coral and red coral items on Below are some of our favorite ones:

1. Vintage Cocktail Earrings $3,495. Bold and elegant, these vintage estate earrings (circa 1940s-1950s) are beautifully crafted in 18 karat yellow gold, coral, turquoise, sapphires, and round brilliant cut diamonds, embedded into a whimsical leaf-inspired cocktail mount.

2. Vintage Coral Branch Necklace $695. This vintage coral necklace is finished with a 14k yellow gold clasp. The long strand, measuring 39 inches, can be worn as one long necklace, or wrapped as a double strand. The branches of coral give any outfit a wonderful look.

3. Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Ring $4,400.  This delicate vintage coral and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels (circa 1990) is set with one round brilliant diamond, weighing approximately .05 cts. The coral Alhambra ring is particularly rare to find, and due to the rarity of coral, it’s no longer produced by Van Cleef & Arpels.

4. Hermès Bougainvillea Clemence 40cm Birkin $18,500. This Bougainvillea Birkin 40cm in Clemence leather is an extremely rare find. Produced in 2009 as a limited edition color, this bag is no longer available in stores, but can be purchased on The 40cm size makes it perfect for travel. The beautiful red coral color will surely compliment any wardrobe.

Shop for the perfect red coral accessories on!

The ABCs of PORTERO – Part 2

N is for Nick Marmol, our Creative Director

Nick Marmol, Creative Director of

Born in London, Nick is a second-generation antiques specialist; a field the English take very seriously. A lover of historic landmarks and an avid traveler, Nick has been all over the world, but his favorite place to visit is India. Nick enjoys playing tennis and fishing, and his favorite restaurant is The Inn at Pound Ridge, where he enjoys the Maine Lobster pan roasted in the shell with oregano and chili. Although he’s British, he doesn’t drink tea.

Nick’s favorite item on the site is a 1940′s Cartier Lighter Watch, engraved “For each year is just an hour.”

O is for Omega

Omega Speedmaster Watch available on PORTERO.comOmega Speedmaster Moonwatch $12,425


Since 1848, Omega has created high quality, luxurious watches. PORTERO has an array of contemporary and vintage Omega watches, including the Seamaster, Speedmaster, DeVille, and Constellation. President John F. Kennedy, Prince William, and many other public figures have worn Omega watches.

P is for PORTERO Promise

It’s our mission to help you get the most out of luxury. PORTERO respects the brands we serve, and we guarantee the authenticity and condition of all merchandise, and we ensure the highest level of service and security. That’s our promise. And we don’t take it lightly. We guarantee our products are 100% authentic, or your money back. We carefully and accurately describe all items and conditions, and all photos are of the actual item up for sale, no stock photos. We also provide the highest level of security for the safest buying experience. In addition, we vet every single one of our vendors, and work with knowledgeable curators who are passionate about customer service. We pride ourselves in making the buying, selling or finding of luxury as seamless as possible.

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Set in Style: Van Cleef & Arpels

Sometimes, seeing amazing jewels up close and personal can be tough for the average shopper. That’s why I’m looking forward to going to the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt: it’s a rare chance to see some spectacular gems firsthand. Running from February 18–June 5, 2011 in NYC, the showing will include more than 350 pieces – a treasure trove of gorgeous gems and impeccable craftsmanship.

Whether or not you are able to attend in person, I highly recommend that you check out a great slideshow of some of the featured pieces and videos explaining the history and lore of the brand. I was immediately taken with the amazing diamond and gemstone bracelet above featuring ancient Egyptian imagery — so spectacular!

Want a little more information on Van Cleef? Here’s a brief bio from the exhibition:

Since its opening on the Place Vendôme in Paris in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has played a leading role in style and design innovation. Its timeless pieces have been worn by style icons including the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. This exhibition will explore 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. On view will be more than 350 works including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories and objets d’art by Van Cleef & Arpels, many of which were created exclusively for the American market. The exhibition will examine the work through the lenses of innovation, transformation, nature as inspiration, exoticism, fashion and personalities, and will include design drawings from the Van Cleef & Arpels archives.