Since opening its first boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has played a pioneering role in the development of the art of jewelry design. Now, on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, The Art of Beauty explores the history and the accomplishments of the firm through more than 400 of its most celebrated works. Loaned from the Van Cleef & Arpels museum and private collections worldwide, these works include classic timepieces, jewels, fashion accessories and objets d'art; the volume places particular emphasis on Van Cleef & Arpels' Chinese inspirations. Among the many milestones of jewelry they have produced are the first watch with a leather strap (1923); the famous "Mystery Setting" technique, a paving procedure that uses no visible claws to contain the stone; the Zip necklace, which opens and closes like a zip (1950); and more recently, the Lotus "Between-the-Finger" ring (2001). Van Cleef & Arpels' highly demanding gemmologists select only the most exceptional stones for the firm's magnificent creations. With 280 full-color reproductions, The Art of Beauty celebrates Van Cleef & Arpels' unrivalled excellence and its quest for perfect beauty.