Monday, May 13, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Cartier “Attlee” Brooch, 1902

Diamonds, Silver, Gold
Cartier, London, 1902
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This brooch of brilliant-cut diamonds, set in silver and backed with gold was made by Cartier in 1902 and presented to the wife of the British prime Minister Clement Attlee when she launched the tanker, “British Fame” at Clydebank in 1948.

Louis Francois Cartier (named for his grandfather), joined the family jewelry business in 1899. More suited to the business world than the artistic world, Louis used his abilities as a businessman to establish Cartier as a famous brand worldwide. Soon, the business expanded with the opening of the Cartier London store in 1902 and the New York store in 1909. This brooch is the work of the London Store and is one of the first pieces to be sold at that location. 

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