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Cartier : A style, elegant jewelry for all times

Cartier, High Jewelry

The famous Maison Cartier from Place Vendôme has left its mark on the world of high jewelry. With its own signature style, its inspired collections have stood the test of time with brilliance and elegance.

Cartier has played a very important role in the history of decorative arts. Its creations, from the classicism of the "jeweler of kings" to the radical inventions of modern style, between geometry and exoticism, offer a fascinating testimony to the evolution of taste and social codes. Jewelry, watches, objects as practical as they are refined : Cartier has seduced the most elegant personalities of the 20th century.

Since our beginnings in the world of jewelry, Cartier has been a source of inspiration. Discover the Baume jewelry inspired by this elegant house and the main artistic trends that still drive it today.

Cartier, jeweler of kings

In 1859, Cartier set up shop on the Boulevard des Italiens and built up a loyal clientele that included both the newly enriched business bourgeoisie and prominent members of Napoleon III's court. As Cartier achieved its status as the "jeweler to kings", cameos and chatelaines disappeared in favor of the so-called "garland" style. This grandiose jewelry relied on the opulence of the stones and the reference to the Ancien Régime.                               

Cartier, the temple of the pearl

The boutique on the rue de la Paix has a Pearl Salon. Until the end of the 1920s, pearls accounted for 60% of Cartier's turnover. By 1900, natural pearls were dethroning diamonds in terms of rarity and value.

Cartier, the Japanese inspiration

The influence of Japan is particularly explicit in the pieces from the beginning of the century, Louis Cartier's wish to go for simplification. The inspiration remains diffuse in the whole of the production during long years.

Cartier, the full explosion of Art Deco 

Black and white is one of the main trends in Art Deco jewelry. Onyx, enamel and rock crystal are generally associated with diamonds. Designers dared to associate colors previously considered in bad taste, inviting for example to mix sapphires and emeralds in art deco rings. The use of other precious raw materials (turquoise, agate, coral...) finally contributes to give a resolutely new look to the jewel.  

Cartier, exoticism

During the 1920s, the craze for motifs from Egypt, India and the Far East, encouraged by the development of the means of communication, affected both fashion and high jewelry. While the "modern" style was in full bloom, Cartier assimilated exotic sources with unparalleled subtlety.

Cartier, geometric luxury

The modern jewel appears at this time as an architectural work, visible in space from all angles. The pieces of jewelry take on an unprecedented sculptural dimension. 

Cartier, the splendor of stones

The importance of precious stones is innate : it is first of all the diamond disease that Cartier tries to inoculate to its customers. However, during the 1930s, Cartier also moved away from white jewelry and turned to semi-precious materials that were making their appearance in high jewelry.

Cartier, the softening of the style

Dictated by fashion, the return of yellow gold in jewelers' windows is also due to the economic situation and the cost of platinum which became prohibitive after the war. Flexible and easier to wear, the jewelry of this period gained in finesse what it lost in size. The "gas pipe", a long articulated tube, testifies to the taste for flexible and transformable jewelry. At the same time, flowers and animals were making their presence felt at Cartier; a new sensitivity to nature was revealed. A flamboyant bestiary illustrates the desire for color that gripped a society in a manifest quest for lightness.

Source : Cartier - Le style et l'histoire  

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