Vogue Paris had a marvelous gift for us yesterday- a feature on 10 of the 420 iconic Cartier pieces currently on display at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. The feature includes jewelry that was previously owned by Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, among others.
I think you know a bit by now about the depths of my love for Cartier. I don’t know if we’ve discussed my love for Elizabeth Taylor, but I’m pretty sure you can imagine it is a serious love. She is my jewelry hero. At some point I plan on doing a series of posts on her collection. The Duchess of Windsor is fascinating as well, but she had some thoughts about how rich and thin one should be that I don’t really hold with. The lady had an eye for jewelry, though, that’s for damn sure.
I saved this post for today because, if you’re anything like me, election day in the U.S.A. is stressing you out and you could use some bling serious therapy.
This mind-blowing festival of gorgeousness (I’m going to run out of superlatives really quickly if I carry on like this) is the Draperie necklace by Cartier Paris, circa 1947. Twisted gold, platinum, brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, a heart-shaped amethyst, 27 emerald-cut amethysts and one faceted oval-shaped amethyst, and turquoise cabochons. It was designed and made to order for the Duke of Windsor, who provided all gemstones apart from the turquoise. N.Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
This feisty kitty is the Panthère brooch, made by Cartier Paris in 1940. Formerly in the collection of the Duchess of Windsor, this brooch is made in gold and platinum and set with diamonds, yellow diamonds, and sapphire cabochons. That fantastic beach ball of a gem that the panther sits on is a 152.35 carat sapphire cabochon. N.Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
This ethereal beauty is the Rinceaux tiara, made by Cartier in 1910. Its delicate, foliate scrolls are composed of cushion-cut and round antique-cut diamonds, all millegrain-set in platinum. It takes my breath away. N.Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
This incredible piece is the Duchess of Windsor’s Tigre lorgnette, made by Cartier Paris in 1954, by special order. The tiger is gold, striped with black champlevé enamel, and set with emeralds. The hinged lorgnette folds into the tiger’s body. The piece was originally presented in a brocade bag embroidered with the inscription “Please Return to HRH The Duchess of Windsor Reward.” N.Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
As a glasses-wearer since age 8, I love anything that makes the dullness of wearing spectacles more spectacular. I’ve never seen this piece before, and I’m head-over-heels for it. How fabulous.
I recognized this one before I read the description. This necklace, made by Cartier Paris in 1951 and modified in 1953, was a gift to Elizabeth Taylor from her husband of the moment, Mike Todd. Composed of round brilliant, baguette and fantasy-cut diamonds, and eight cushion and oval-shaped rubies, set in platinum and gold. The necklace is convertible to a tiara. Studio Gérard, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
Todd famously presented his wife with this necklace (and the matching earrings and bracelet) while she was swimming. Sounds like a good day to me!
This is the marvelously nutty Crocodiles necklace, made to order by Cartier Paris for Maria Felix in 1975. Made of gold, with 1,023 brilliant-cut yellow diamonds with an overall weight of 60.02 carats, two navette-cut emerald cabochons, 1,060 emeralds of a total of 66.86 carats, two ruby cabochons. Each crocodile is entirely articulated and can detach from the necklace to be worn as a brooch. N.Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier.
This lovely thing is a Cartier, Paris, tiara which was made to order for Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain in 1920. It is platinum, set with round antique and rose-cut diamonds and eight pearls. The piece is on loan from the Royal house of Spain. © Casa Real.
Last but not least, we have the spectacular Serpent necklace, made by Cartier Paris in 1968. This was also made to order for Maria Felix, who clearly had a thing for both diamonds and reptiles. It is made of platinum, yellow and white gold, and adorned with 2,473 brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, two pear-cut diamonds, green, red and black enamel. Collection Cartier © Cartier.
All images and info in this post are all thanks to Vogue Paris. Please click here to read the original article.
I have a very small skull. LUCKY ME!!! When I try on ANTIQUE DIAMOND /GEMSTONE TIARAS, they usually fit me right on point. Antique dealers will laugh at how PERFECTLY WELL tiny diamond tiaras fit!! I always offer to be there TIARA model…..