What is it - guilloche? You can hear this word from time to time when buying antique items with guilloche enamel. Van Cleef & Arpels uses a guilloche motif, but what does it mean?
Guilloche means a decoration of concentric design engraved on metal. It was often covered by enamel to highlight the beauty of the pattern. The French term refers to an engraved decoration developed as an alternative to pierced bosse inlay. Guilloche is best known on Renaissance-era furniture, clocks, silver, and jewellery. It consists of two or more superimposed levels bearing scrolling foliage elements. Guilloche is also commonly seen in Islamic art where its geometric forms often serve the same functions as tracery in Western Gothic architecture. The guilloche appears as a three dimensional ornament but with a flat background field on which it is set.
Van Cleef & Arpels have used the guilloche technique since 1910. They have decorated their objects, jewellery, watches, and most accessories with it since.
In our boutique, we have some examples of guilloche, and those items are amazing.