Book - 1997
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Exquisite and original-fine jewelry as an art form from one of the world's legendary makers.

Blackwell North Amer
For over half a century, Cartier was the most important jeweler in the world. It was the leading supplier to fifteen royal courts who granted them letters of patent, dealt in many of the most valuable stones and pearls that came on the market, were the leading designers of fashionable jewelry, worked closely with the main fashion houses of Paris and produced some of the most sublime objects d'art ever seen. Cartier, whose headquarters were on the elegant Rue de la Paix as early as 1893, had large and sumptuous establishments in St. Petersburg and on New Bond Street in London, where they catered to a fabulously rich aristocracy, as well as on New York's Fifth Avenue where they served the millionaires of the New World.
But great stones alone could not have sustained the firm's international reputation. They excelled in remarkable design once Alfred Cartier and his sons took over the firm from its founder, Louis Francois Cartier. After working largely in the retardataire garland style, inspired by the court life of Louis XV and Louis XVI, Cartier hired Charles Jacqueau as his chief designer. Jacqueau went through the Louvre, sketchbook in hand, mining the decorative arts of Islam, India, Egypt, Greece and China. He was inspired by the Fauve exhibition in 1905 and the Ballets Russes in 1909, and brought all this richness into the realm of fine jewelry. Alfred Cartier also hired Jeanne Toussaint, a sort of Diana Vreeland of the jewelry world, to be his directrice, and Toussaint literally invented the highly colorful Cartier art deco jewelry, incorporating carved Indian gemstones into ravishing necklaces, clips and bracelets, often working in tandem with the most elegant ladies of the time - Daisy Fellowes, the Duchess of Windsor and Mrs. Cole Porter, among others. For them, Toussaint designed vanity cases, cigarette boxes, handbags and endless ingenious accessories that became essential for the well-dressed woman. But Cartier's finest design statements were probably the "mystery clocks," designed by Maurice Couet and a team of thirty watchmakers, stone carvers, gem setters and enamellers. Time was told by diamond studded hour and minute hands that revolved on two disks of flawless crystal mounted on anything from a white jade chimera to a coral dragon. More than anybody, the firm of Cartier continued the tradition of a princely taste that is superbly captured in this delightful all-color book.

Publisher: New York : Universe, c1997
ISBN: 9780789300874
Branch Call Number: 739.27 TRE
Characteristics: 79 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm


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