Cartier was founded in Paris in the year 1847. "When is was a question of jewelry or business: we were the Cartiers. Our father was unaware that we had secretly made the same oath: to become the greatest in our profession" ~ Louis Cartier (1875 - 1942).
Upon entering the show, you come face to face with this beautiful Scroll Tiara that was a special order for the Countess of Essex, 1902.
Talk about spectacular! This platinum and pear-shaped 17-carat diamond Tiara was a special order along with the Choker and Lily Stomacher Brooch for Mary Scott Townsend of Washington, D.C. in 1905.
1911. Platinum, round old and rose-cut diamonds and natural pearl necklace.
This art deco brooch-pendant certainly showcases the geometric shapes of its time. A beautiful display of platinum, diamonds and sapphires.
This 1910 elegant necklace features sapphires, diamonds and tassels of small, graduated pearls.
With the Wall Street crash in 1929, Cartier created lavish pieces for those who still had the funds to spend on exotic jewelry. This flower basket pendent is filled with carved emeralds, rubies and sapphires from India.
"Tutti Frutti" jewelry is an explosion of color with a mixture of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds. This double clip brooch was sold to Mrs. Cole Porter.
Another "Tutti Frutti" bracelet with diamonds, six star lavender sapphires and carved-leaf sapphires and rubies.
The fashions of the 1920's with its tubular silhouettes, short skirts and cropped hair called out for modern jewelry that made a statement. Geometric patterns were designed as seen in this bracelet with a rock crystal bowl filled with beads of rubies representing fruit.
Europeans were fascinated with ancient Egypt. The discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 helped spur the popularity and a demand for these designs. This 1927 clock represents the gateway to the khonsu Temple at Karnak. The hands on the clock are an open and closed lotus-blossoms on the mother-of-pearl dial. The figures at the bottom are of the king and the kneeling Nile god Hapi. Surrounding the clock are markings resembling ancient hieroglyphs. The color theme of green, deep blue and orange-red are the same colors found in Egyptian decorative arts.
A 1927 Egyptian vanity case with gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds, coral, lapis and enamel. The figure is Horus as a child holding a scorpion and a lion. The sides have hieroglyphic inscriptions which are meant to protect one from snakebites and scorpion stings. Note, again the same color theme found in Egyptian decorative arts.
Many of Cartier's pieces incorporated pieces of of Egyptian antiquities into their designs. The scarab, a three sectioned beetle with its wings spread out, was a popular motive. This particular brooch was also worn as a belt buckle. Both the brooch and bracelet were owned by Cole Porter's wife, Linda Lee Porter.
The famous panther motif that is so famously identified with Cartier first came into play in 1914. It was a commission from George Barbier for an invitation. The water color shows a women dressed in an ancient Greek gown standing in between two red columns with a black panther stretched out behind her. Soon after, the panther motif appeared on Cartier's watches, clocks, bracelets, brooches, hair ornaments, evening bags and cigarette accessories.
The panther motif can be found on the bracelet above with the clasp set with a pave of diamonds and black onyx spots. There is a diamond stud in each of the coral beads.
I found this bracelet quite exquisite. Again, notice the panther motif. Harper's Bazaar wrote in March of 1926 ~ "Most original is the combination of carved coral... with large uncut emeralds, diamonds and onyx. This darling color combination is another Cartier invention. It, however, requires very careful handling, the combination being very dangerous." Frankly, I love this color combination and it is one I wear often. For years I have been crazy about orange clothing and it is not because I live in Denver and the Broncos uniforms are orange and blue!
A beautifully crafted gold, enamel, and button pearl Guillotine cigar cutter. 1923
Near the end of World War II, around 1943, Cartier presented this commemorative clock to Franklin D. Roosevelt . The face of the clock displays five dials, Washington D.C time, London and Paris, Berlin and Rome, San Francisco and Tokyo. The clock would mark the hour of victory. It was presented in Cartier's signature red leather case shown in the back.
A Panther vanity case - 1928 - made of gold, platinum, enamel diamonds, emeralds, rubies and onyx. The interior has a mirror, lipstick case, covered powder compartment and a cigarette compartment.
Parures, matching suites of jewelry, was very popular in the 1950's. This Cartier design is reminiscent of an Indian amulet. These were owned by Lady Lydia (Koudoyaroff) Deterding, who supplied her own rubies. A Russian by birth, she divorced her first husband and went on the marry Sir Henri Deterding, founder of Royal Dutch Petroleum.
"Nothing Strikes such a false note in this day and age as dinky, small fry jewels."
~ American Vogue ~
All except for the turquoise, this Bold Necklace was also created from the collection of gems from the Duchess's personal collection. It was the fashion of the time to wear larger necklaces with unusual color combinations.
Cary Grant, Warren Beatty, Andy Warhol and Rudolph Valentino wore Cartier Tank watches.
Elizabeth Taylor wore Cartier. The most opulent acquisition was the 69.42-carat diamond bought by Richard Burton for only $1.1 million dollars as a gift for Taylor.
The famous Mexican actress, Maria Felix, adored her Cartier snake and crocodile pieces.
Felix's infamous creation in 1975 by Cartier was this articulated Crocodile necklace that could be detached and worn as two separate brooches.
The jewelery making at Cartier is a collaborative effort by all from designer, jewelers,
stone-cutters, stone-setters to stone-polishers. They are still using most of the same tools and techniques since the companies founding in 1847. It can take up to 3,000 hours to make one necklace!
Click on the link below to watch the spectacular Cartier video.
Once on this site, click on "full film".
Once on this site, click on "full film".