Discover the most bedazzling pieces from Cartier's largest exhibition to date.
Legacies have been established by the right choice of diamonds. For Hollywood legends and Royalty alike, there was only ever one place to go to find diamond-decked immortality.
Now, after almost 200 years of bejewelling the rich, famous and royal, Cartier are finally cracking open the jewellery box. Opening this December in the Grand Palais in Paris, Cartier will reveal the stories behind some of their most iconic pieces.
With over 600 pieces of jewellery on show, this is their biggest exhibition to date and will include an exclusive selection of prized gems made specially for the celebrity elite, including Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Wallis Simpson and Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, the exhibition also delves in to the early beginnings of Cartier, and how it developed to become the leading jewellery power house that we know today.
It’s not long until the exhibition doors open. But if you can’t wait, whet your appetite with our edit of the most bedazzling pieces on show this winter.
Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of the exhibition is Grace Kelly’s emerald cut 10.47 carats engagement ring, given to her by Prince Rainier of Monaco in January 1956. That ring was never to leave her finger, and she can even be seen polishing it with a silk sheet in one of the opening scenes of her final film, High Society. To accentuate the originality of the diamond, the Cartier jewellers placed it on a platinum mount with a baguette cut diamond on each side of the central stone.
Plucked directly from Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewellery collection, the halo tiara was used to fix Kate Middleton’s veil in place during her wedding to Prince William in 2011. Of course, Kate was the last in a long line of royals to adorn the magnificent tiara, made from graduated scrolls set in 739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds. Created by Cartier in 1936, the tiara was purchased by King George VI for his wife, The Duchess of York. It came in to Queen Elizabeth’s posession on her 18th birthday.
Created in 1880, this elegant show pin watch symbolises the original baroque sway of early Cartier designs. The watch is made from chased gold that has been perforated and polished to create an intricate natural vignette of flowers, birds and animals intertwined.
This extravagant platinum panther bangle was designed by Cartier’s eponymous creative director, Jeanne Toussaint, in 1958. Toussaint was renowned for indulging in a variety of rare gems to craft her pieces. For example, the platinum structure of this bangle is encased in white-gold, brilliant cut diamonds with sapphire carbochons used to create the spots. The panthers’ eyes are crafted from marquise cut emeralds and onxy truffles.
This eye-catching necklace was commissioned in 1936 on special order for the renowned Parisien socialite and heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune, Daisy Fellowes. This particular necklace marks the art deco shift of Cartier designs during the interwar period. The new geometric designs incorporated a wealth of stones, in this case white gold diamonds, bricolette-cut sapphires, leaf-shaped sapphires, 50 balls of sapphire carbochon, emeralds and rubies!
Cartier loved experimenting with their diamond cuts, and this 1925-commissioned pin is a prime example of their innovative spirit. The jewel in the crown, so-to-speak, is the 15.12 carats emerald carbochon at the centre of the design.
This tiara is the defining image of Cartier’s design expertise. Imagine the skill it must have taken to craft that black onyx tree against a diamond background. Developed in 1914, this tiara really was at the cutting edge of luxury jewellery design.
Mexican actress, Maria Felix, adored ostentatiously extravant jewellery – and Cartier were her prefered jewelers when it came to crafting these unique creations. This yellow diamond and emerald crocodile necklace weighed more than 126 carats!
Burmese rubies add the finishing touch to this head-turning diamond necklace. Designed in 1953, it would have been the crowning glory of many a socialite’s evening gown.
The Parure collection was one of the first designs made by Cartier. It relies mostly on oval and pear faceted gold amethyst to create a decidedly regal effect.