Friday, 22 February 2013

Louis francois cartier Jewelers

The grand Duchess Vladimir in a native Boyar costume, wearing her rectangular emerald of 107.72 carats in a brooch, formerly iii the collection of Catherine the Great, which she received as a wedding present from Tsar Alexander II. The stone was reputed to be the second most beam 'lid large emerald in the world, surpassed only in weight by another emerald owned by Catherine the Great. Upon his mother's death, Grand Duke Doris sold the emerald to Callao in 1927. During the 19th and 20th centuries, in both Europe and the United States, there was a marked proliferation of retail jewelers and manufacturers who served the appetite for luxury of the surviving aristocracy and the newly developed industrial middle class. Most jewelers traditionally worked at a local level, rarely emerging beyond the limits of their immediate city. Only for a special few, national boundaries did not exist, and as travel and communications improved, even the most remote client became more accessible to them. These international jewelers were also enabled by these changing circumstances to produce new pieces reflecting foreign motifs.

Family leadership was the foundation of a jewelry enterprise. Maintaining a tradition and passing on a reputation to succeeding generations were essential for a continuing success, hut these were never to be taken for granted. Within the history of a jewelry family, there is invariably a certain period, presided over by one or more individuals, during which great design and production set unique standards for the House.

In 1947, Raphael Esmerian, the New York lapidary and dealt and Pierre Cartier agreed to re-mount the emerald as a pendant to a necklace that Esmerian had purchased from the Payne Whitney family.
For nearly half a century, from 1900 to 1940, the House of Cartier eclipsed all its past and future achievements. Its combination of superb stones, exotic design, skilled production, and global merchandising in jewels, clocks, watches, boxes and objets set the supreme example for world jewelers. Although these extraordinary years were marked by war, prosperity and depression, Cartier maintained a consistent standard of excellence. The human element was responsible for the firm's successful activity. Three brothers Louis, Pierre and Jacques Carder   inherited a strong family establishment which had been built during the last half of the 19th century on vision, organization and a sense of fashion. They were able to divide the world among themselves Alone, each assumed, enjoyed and excelled at his individual responsibilities; together, their teamwork created a jewelry empire that remains the model to this day.

On Esmerian's recommendation in 1954 to remove a natural flaw in the stone, Cartier consented to have him re-cut the emerald into a pear shape. The stone ended at 75.63 carats and was restored to the necklace which had been made larger with the addition of another square emerald.
In 1847, when Louis-Francois Cartier opened his small jewelry store in Paris, he was satisfying mercantile instincts, not creative design talents. In 19th-century European society, and particularly in Paris, there was a surging growth of a new middle class whose power extended into business and politics. Cartier quickly understood that a successful jeweler had to cater to the opulent tastes of the new wealth and not limit himself to the production and retailing of traditional jewels such as cameo parures and pearl ensembles. Cartier extended the range of his stock to include ivory pieces, fans, Wedgwood and Sevres porcelain, Christofle silver, and watches.

Alfred Cartier joined his father in the 1870s, assuming leadership of the store and organizing the first international exhibition in London, which attracted a new clientele. 

That same year John D. Rockefeller Jr bought the necklace from Cartier. Its final appearance was at a Sotheby's auction in November 1971, when Raphael Esmerian repurchased an old friend. , belowEuropean taste was being transformed by a spate of archaeological and scientific discoveries. Digs in Assyria, Egypt, Greece, and Italy were revealing ancient artifacts that jewelers were adapting and reproducing in the "archaeological style". This was also the period when scientific expeditions to Africa, South America, and Asia brought back to Europe unfamiliar fauna and flora   shapes and colours that inspired jewelers to mimic nature and produce lizards, birds, and flowers with appropriate stones and enamel.

Although few 19th-century Cartier jewels survive, designs and sales records from the House archives reveal fashionable pieces dictated by contemporary taste. In addition to the jewels imitating nature and drawing their inspiration from ancient Egypt and Rome, Cartier also created the overstated diamond pieces that the new middle class demanded.

The Cartier clan in 1922 From left to right: Pierre, Louis, Alfred (the father) and Jacques. Certainly the Louvre exhibition of the French Crown Jewels in 1884 and their subsequent public auction sale in 1887 reinforced the appetite for ostentation. The discovery of diamond mines in South Africa and the organization of De Beers in 1880 assured European jewelers of a steady supply of this most precious decorative material.

A PRIDE OF PANTHERS The brooch with the sapphire and diamond panther straddling a 152-carat cabochon sapphire was purchased by the Duke of Windsor in 1949. Above it are various companions in the panther series, the earliest being the onyx and diamond pendant watch that Pierre Cartier had commissioned in 1915, especially for his wife. The onyx and diamond panther reclining on the agate base was designed as a brooch by Cartier for the American boxer Gene Tunney and made by the Lavabre workshop in 1928. The sapphire and diamond recumbent panther ring was made in Paris for Nina Dyer in 1962. The ear clips, brooch and bangle bracelet illustrating onyx and diamond panthers with emerald eyes were all made in the Paris workshop between 1963 and 1970.Concurrently, the imaginative design and workmanship of Lalique jewelry offered a dramatic break with tradition. Established Houses in Paris like Fouquet, Vever, and Aucoc followed the creative genius of Lalique. In the world of painting, the Salons and academies were being challenged in a similar fashion by the Impressionists. For Cartier, however, the "Art Nouveau" look, with its exaggeration of nature's themes and abundant use of such [materials as ivory and horn, was deemed totally inappropriate for the firm's image.

At the approach of the new century, Cartier was respected as a successful fine jeweler with an international clientele. But it was also apparent that changes would come about with the emergence of a new (third) family generation. 

IN THE QARLAND STYLE Top, a diamond and platinum dog collar sewn on a black velvet ribbon (Paris 1906). Centre, a bow-top diamond and platinum brooch with a floral design inspired by the 19th-century crown 1 94 jewel look (Paris 1908). The diamond and platinum lapel watch brooch, on black grosgrain ribbon was made as a special order by Cartier New York in 1926, but the design reflects the customer's 18th.century taste. Cartier Paris in 1 906 designed and made the platinum and gold brooch formed by two intertwined sapphire and diamond Pak motifs. The pearl, diamond and platinum corsage basket produced by Cartier New York in 1918 is rein in scent of the 18th century.In 1898 Louis Cartier, the twenty-three-year-old eldest son of Alfred join his father in business, By 1906 his younger brothers, Pierre und Jacques, followed Louis to create the tem that would establish Cartier as the preeminent jeweler in the world. In 1899 the Paris store completed its fourth and final move - to 13 Rue de la Paix, a fitting address for its growing reputation. In 1906 Jacques moved to London and in 1909 he organized the present Cartier store in New Bond Street. During that same year, Pierre travelled to New York, married an American socialite, and opened a store at 712 Fifth Avenue. The move to the present American headquarters at 653 Fifth Avenue which was brought about by an exchange for a famous Oriental pearl necklace occurred in 1917.

The gold and silver desk tray with mauve, blue, green and white enamel decoration, made for Cartier Paris by the Bako Workshop in 1908, consists of a clock framed by two inkwells and a pen resting on a holder. The gold, enamel and ivory standing desk clock in the shape of a Louis XIV-style barometer was made by Brediltard & Prevost for Cartier Paris in 1904 and sold that same year to J.P. Morgan. The gold, enamel and diamond parasol handle was made in 1907, and the two watches c. 1911 and 1913.Each brother exercised independent management and creativity within his own store. Paris, London and New York had their respective designers, workshops and merchandising facilities. The brothers had very different interests and abilities, but the propagation of the Cartier image and jewelry was paramount. Louis, Pierre and Jacques were all great world travellers visiting clients, seeking aesthetic inspiration from foreign cultures, or combing primitive market places for stones and pearls. But in the end they always returned to Paris, the creative centre.

Louis was the one most concerned with design and production. When he joined the store at the turn of the century, the grand tradition Versailles and Louis XVI dominated the Cartier look.

Top, a cabochon emerald, coral and diamond pendant brooch, and below it, a carved emerald bead, pearl and diamond necklace with an engraved Moghni emerald pendant, both made by Cartier New York (1925). In the carved coral chimera bracelet with carved emerald beads, sapphires and diamonds, directly inspired by the Indian tawiz arm bracelet, Cartier included the blue and green enamel decoration prevalent in Jaipur pieces. The coral heads were carved by the lapidary Datvy and then given to the Lavabre workshop that completed the piece in 1928. The fourth piece is a linear pendant brooch with a drop emerald suspended from onyx, coral and diamond motifs, made by the Renault workshop in 1922.
 In creating dog collars and tiaras, the eight House designers drew upon the ornamental motifs of the 17th and 18th centuries. Their efforts marked the beginnings of the Garland style, which evolved up to and through the First World War.

The advent of platinum, which replaced silver, allowed for an open lacework and embroidery pattern ac a polished backs ground for diamonds and pearls, &line important, however, were die production and fame of the Faberge workshops in Russia which had successfully carried on the Versailles stylistic tradition. Faberge's mastery of enameling also challenged Car-tier to create similar objets.

Top, a ruby bead and diamond 18 kt. gold bib necklace with (WA Indian motifs (enamel on reverse) with a palm tree ornament suspending two bunches of ruby beads (Paris 1949). The "tree of life" platinum brooch with two birds is made of carved emeralds, rubies, cabochon sapphires and diamonds (Paris 1927). The "Kashmir palm" jabot pin, with carved jade, rubies and diamonds, is a classical Moghul design reinterpreted by Cartier Paris and made by the Renault workshop in 1925.

In1904 and again in 1905, Pierre Cartier was dispatched to Russia, not only to meet new clients, but also to commission pieces from Russian workshops that the French could not yet produce. Animals and flowers carved out of semi-precious hardstones and enamel wares in exotic colours were ordered by Cartier from the famous Moscow atelier of Yahr. It was ironic that a French jeweler had to go as far afield as Russia to bring back a 200-year-old style that was first created at Versailles. 
But the Russian aristocracies, at leak up to 1917 were the greatest consumers of jewels in the European market. What better resting-place for the spirit of the defunct French monarchy?

The bracelet with the diamond branch running down the centre was made by the Pica workshop (1925) and sold the following year to Cole Porter.During his two exploratory trips to Russia, Pierre Cartier successfully opened up a foreign market for Cartier jewelry, just as he would later do in America. 

A jeweled and wood-paneled vanity case made by the Lavabre workshop (1924), with Chinese mythological figures inlaid with mother-of-pearl, malachite, lapis-lazuli, turquoise, coral, and diamond motifs. On the cover a Taoist shepherd, seen conversing with a warrior, who is able to transform rocks into sheep? Inside there are two powder compartments, a comb and a lipstick holder. The two decorative panels (reverse not shown) were made in the Far East during the 19th century and bought by Louis Cartier in Paris. The mystery clock, with a large faceted topaz face decorated with mother-of-pearl numerals, green jade plaques and coral, was made by the Couet workshop in 1927. The octagon is a classic Art Deco stone cut, yet identical geometric shapes are seen in Chinese architecture and design of the 18th century. The jeweled vanity case, from the Lavabre workshop (1928), is decorated with a floral vase and fallen flower; it combines Chinese stylization with the Japanese sentiment of the nursery rhyme: "Though the colour be fragrant, the flower will fall; who in the world lives forever?" The social contacts he established (as each of the Cartier brothers was expert in doing the world over) would serve him well through-out his professional life. Grand Duchess Vladimir, her son Boris, Grand Duchess Xenia, daughter of the Tsar, and Prince Felix Youssoupov all assisted Cartier in opening a St Petersburg branch in 1909. Although the venture was considered commercially successful, it was short-lived and closed down in 1914, through a combination of anticipated wartime restrictions and Alfred Cartier's intention to concentrate all the firm's overseas efforts on the new store in New York.

 The important contribution of Russian &man and workmanship to 20th century jewelry was not limited to Faberge and the renewal of the Versailles style. Another strong Influence was exacted by the Batter Russes; The explosive launching of Diaghilev's ballet company in Paris in 1909 shook the traditions of Western European art and fashion.
A jade, coral, onyx and diamond mantel clock by Couet (1926); the Cartier chimera plays against the 18th-century Chinese carved white jade screen in the form of a diamond hand and a gold and enameled motif at the back. The cultural wall that had isolated the Orient was breached. From the stage emanated movements, sounds, and colours which proclaimed an exotic taste unfamiliar to Western palettes. The contribution of Leon Bakst in particular was the use of vibrant, clashing greens, yellows, oranges, and blues to highlight textured costumes and sets. Together with dance and music, this visual shock served to contrast the exotic image of the Eastern woman with her bland and old-fashioned Western counterpart.

For Cartier this dramatic kaleidoscope of Eastern exoticism could not have been more propitious. The fresh energy brought to the House by the three brothers had resulted in new personnel and an exposition of overseas ventures. 
The lady's platinum and gold pendant lapel watch brooch (Paris 1929) has a 19th-century jade Buddhist seal carved as a lion suspended from ruby bead and diamond motifs.In 1909 Louis hired a twenty-four-year-old designer, Charles Jacqueau, who was a graduate of the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs. At first, Jacqueau's personal creativity did not match his technical mastery of 18th-cen-tury forms. He was inspired by the Ballets Russes to visit the Louvre frequently to study the arts of India, Egypt, China and Japan. It was in this early period that he developed what would later be known as Art Deco jewelry. Only four years after he came to Cartier, Jacqueau designed a collection for the Paris shop that was exhibited and catalogued as "a choice of Persian, Indian, and Tibetan jewels adapted to the latest fashions". Jacqueau's studies in the Louvre allowed him to concentrate on the details of Persian miniatures, Moghul enamels, stylized Egyptian birds and flowers, the simplicity of Far Eastern inlay. For nearly twenty-five years he converted Oriental images into Western Art Deco jewels, clocks and objets that Cartier so successfully produced. From 1911 to 1935 he directed eleven designers in Paris to-wards this end.

The jade belt is composed of Chinese medallions carved in the 19th century. The carved rubies were set by Cartier London when the piece was completed in 1930 and then bought by the opera diva ganna Walska. A 14 kt. gold vanity case with a carved jade and diamond centre engraved with Chinese cloud motifs (New York); it, a 19th-century jade plaque carved in China and framed in a diamond and cabochon sapphire brooch, which was designed and made by Cartier New York in the Art Deco style (1950). Although both Pierre and Jacques Car-tier had brought French designers with them to New York and London, it was under Jacqueau’s influence in Paris that elegant set and refinement set the international tone Cartier jewelry, who also enjoyed was made. From the beginning, he worked closely with Louis Cartier, who also enjoyed, when his administrative Julio permitted visualizing a piece and then having the designer do renderings. Their closest collaboration occurred after 1922 and the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. During the 19th century the House of Cartier had been duly influenced by the Egyptian revivals revered by European fashion; but the discovery of the tomb's treasures served to underscore the message of the Ballets Russes. Not only were the colours and designs exceptionally strong, but the workmanship of the artifacts sur-passed modern creations. Louis Cartier was inspired to find original pieces to incorporate in modern jewels; collecting rare books, fine furniture, and drawings
A jeweled enamel, gold and platinum vanity case shaped as an Egyptian sarcophagus designed by Jacqueau (design initialed by Louis Cartier) and made by the Lava bre workshop in 1925. It was bought that year by Mrs. George Blumenthal, wife of the New York investment banker. Louis Cartier had bought from a Paris antique dealer what he thought to be a piece of ivory. The concave cover is actually bone, carved possibly in the 18th century, and depicts a Persian princess with a tulip. The lid is framed by carved emerald lotus columns, emerald and onyx rondelles and pave diamond tubes.
The extraordinarily talented Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1978), who made an invaluable contribution to Cartier during the years of its greatest successes sharpened his taste and assisted him in finding suitable antiquities.

If Louis Cartier relied on Jacqueau for design excellence, he depended entirely on Jeanne Toussaint to share his responsibilities as the head of the firm. Joining Cartier in 1910 at the age of twenty three, Toussaint rounded out the creative and merchandising team that Louis was organizing. During the half-century that she worked for the House, Toussaint ranged over all its activities. Her approach to jewelry was modern, perfectly attuned to the changing attitudes of society towards women. Emerging from the Victorian closet, the 20th-century woman was shedding the restrictions of anonymity.
On the reverse, reminiscent of 19th-century archaeological style jewelry, is a gold cloisonné panel showing a female Egyptian almsbearer standing against a lotus flower background, with an ibis at her side. The two sides of the piece are decorated with blue, green, white champlevé lotus flowers and applied gold floral motifs.
 Apart from the achievement of political equality with men, her most visible gains appeared in fashion and society. Following the First World War, smoking in public became acceptable for women; make-up and cosmetics, once considered the emblems of moral depravity, became decorative necessities. The sleekness and relative simplicity of clothes emphasized the body and provided a fitting backdrop to the new jewelry.

Accordingly, Cartier designated Toussaint to acknowledge this new image and to oversee the production of jeweled articles for women. During the 19th century Car-tier had emphasized men's accessories such as cigarette cases, cigar cutters, hair and moustache brushes, desk sets; now the time had come for women's articles to share equal billing. With this objective, .Jeanne Toussaint organized nod directed Department S to produce in precious metals and materials a quantity of accessories for men, women, and the home. In retrospect, this successful effort was the precursor of the Must creations which were to originate fifty years later on a mass production scale.

The genius of the case lies in the two ends, each of which is set with a jeweled sphinx with an onyx and diamond body, emerald paws, and a pharaonic face carved out of one piece of emerald. Reflecting the mania for Tutankhamun and the 1922 excavations, Cartier recalled his funerary mask with sapphires and the diamond cobra, symbol of his rule over Lower Egypt.
Department S produced objects which were functional and yet stylish: handbags of gold and silver covered in alligator or crocodile skins or textured brocades from the Far East; men's cigarette cases made flat for the pocket and decorated in a geometric style; picture frames in precious metals and hardstones materials; night lamps; desk pieces such as magnifying glasses and letter openers all enlisted the creative energies of the House to reach a broader public.
In the case of high jewelry, Toussaint's taste was for Indian design and Moghul jewels. Along with Jacques Cartier and Jacqueau, she devised that Art Deco classic what future generations would call the "fruit salad" look. Jeweled European renditions of the Tree of Life and Indian gardens were set with a profusion of carved rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds. The combination of colours in Jaipur enamels, opulent gold mountings holding large stones, and the Eastern shapes of tassels and turban ornaments all served to divert Cartier jewelry from the conventional diamond look which had held sway at the end of the 19th century. This acknowledgement of the Indian style was not an isolated phenomenon, hut merely the continuation of a tradition that had started in the 16th century when European jewelers scoured India for designs and stones. The three-dimensional enamel jeweled pendants depicting human and animal forms produced in Europe during the Renaissance were directly inspired by their Indian counterparts. For three hundred years the Indian continent was for European jewelers the primary source of diamonds, pearls, and coloured stone.

An ancient Egyptian blue faience scarab set in an 18 kt. gold and platinum brooch of citrine topaz, diamond, and emerald, ruby and onyx wings. When originally designed and made by Cartier London in 1925, the brooch could be converted to a buckle and mounted on a plaited silk belt. A platinum brooch with ancient Egyptian blue faience profile of a hawk decorated with coral, onyx, and diamond stylized lotus flowers (Lavabre 1925). Ancient Egyptian faience head emerging from an onyx, emerald ruby and diamond lotus flower brooch (Paris c. 1925).
During the 20th century Cartier was able to develop a reciprocal tradition with India. Because of England's imperial status, London had taken on the role of cultural and political centre for the maharajahs on their European visits. Naturally Jacques Cartier and the London store became their Comers for the House; Jacques had taken him first trip to the Persian Gulf and India in 1911. In the following mini, he was design, plated by his brothers to purchase pearls and precious stones for company designs and production. Jacques hired a full-time purchasing agent in New Delhi who would report directly to him and send back to London Mogul pieces as well as raw materials. Just as Pierre developed an affinity for the Brahmans of American society, so Jacques cultivated and enjoyed their counterparts in the Indian continent. The maharajahs still held an astounding wealth of native jewels, but in the process of being westernized, they were inclined to update their holdings. Jeweled turbans, armlets, ankle bracelets, nose rings, necklaces all were in need of a contemporary look, and Cartier design and workmanship were the most impressive available to them. It was ironic that Cartier should be asked totransform the very pieces which served as an inspiration for their Art Deco creations. Patiala, Baroda, Mysore, Hyderabad, Kapurthala were among the potentates who entrusted their Moghul jewels to Cartier for remounting. Jacques Cartier's success in India, coupled with the creative efforts of Jacqueau and Toussaint, allowed the House to set a pace in the design and production of Art Deco jewelry which outclassed all other European and American jewelers.

The extraordinarily talented Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1978) who made an invaluable contribution to Cartier during the years of its greatest successes.
Along with the artifacts of ancient Egypt and the carved stones of India, Cartier borrowed from the art work of China and Japan in its Art Deco creations. Far Eastern motifs and symbols from architecture and gardens were also converted to this 20th-century idiom, appearing on vanity cases, clocks, perfume bottles and the like.

Large carved jade and agate figures, screen panels, lacquered mother-Of-pearl plaques were purchased by Cartier in the Orient as well as from ant it hue dealers in Park and London. In the United States Pierre would buy similar treasure from New England families whose forbears had traded in China during the 19th century. Cartier did not depend entirely on the old pieces, but also encouraged and patronized small independent Paris an Oriental workshop which specialized in the Oriental tradition of inlay and lacquer. France`s involvement with Indo-China had brought to Paris an Oriental work force capable handing launcher not so proficiently as the ancient Chinese, but skilled enough to make an important contribution to the Art Deco style. 

Writer – Thames & Hudson

No comments:

Post a Comment