Cartier jewelry was founded in 1847 by the French jewler Louis Francois Cartier (1819 – 1904)
Louis Francois Cartier strated the company.
The Cartier Jewelry Style and History exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris chronicles the evolution of taste, whims and indulgences over the past 160 years. Six hundred shimmering Cartier jewelry, watches and precious little objects are gathered under the grandiose soaring steel and glass arches of the Grand Palais. The result is an intriguing and achingly beautiful insight from the mid-1800s onwards into what Cartier jewelry created for the wealthiest men and women in the world when looking to adorn, delight and impress – or simply have something nice to put on their desk.
The Art Deco era is reflected in the geometric patterns of diamond and onyx bracelets, swaying tassled pearl cartier replica necklaces and bandeau-style tiaras; while the Egypt-mania which followed Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 comes to life in the Twenties collection of pharaonic themed jewelrysuch as a striking sky-blue scarab beetle with emerald and diamond wings. The excitement and exoticism of the Orient that swept Europe in Twenties and Thirties is evident in glossy red lacquers, emeralds and carved jade objets and jewels.
There is plenty of majesty on show including the 1936 “Halo” tiara the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her wedding day. Made in Cartier’s London workshops, it was loaned to her by the Queen whose Williamson flower brooch with its impressive central pink diamond is another highlight of the show.
But nothing trumps the jaw-dropping Maharajah of Patiala’s splendid bib necklace with diamonds the size of conkers that can be seen from across the vast room. This, I believe, was the Maharajah’s intention when in 1928 he asked Cartier replica necklaces to re-set the jewels. Some of the original diamonds have since been lost and replaced with replicas, but the effect is no less impressive.
But one of the most memorable creations has to be a 1907 trio of perky bulldogs – or “bouledogues” as the French have labeled them – that fit in the palm of your hand, each carved out of a different variant of quartz imitating brindled or smooth canine fur complete with twinkling diamond eyes. How’s that for unbridled indulgence?