Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Cartier Encrusted Emeralds Necklace and Earrings

Diamond Rope Necklace and Earrings; Hung with Encrusted Emeralds
Necklace and Earrings:  Diamond Mounts, London Cartier, c. 1935
Emeralds:  Indian, Moghul, 18th-19th Centuries
Image Courtesy of the British Museum
Click on Image to Enlarge.

A magnificent necklace and earrings of platinum, brilliant cut diamonds and baguettes are hung with cabochon emeralds inlaid with ruby and diamond flowers.  These enchanting  emeralds are Indian, Mughal, set during the 18th-19th centuries while the diamond mounts, clearly in the western style, are later additions by Cartier, dating to the mid 1930s.  

The front piece of the ravishing diamond necklace forms a tasselled rope which loops into a double strand of diamonds round the back.  There, the clasp is formed by a large circular encrusted emerald.  The parure is still contained in its original fitted red leather Cartier case.

The encrusted emeralds were found when Cartier travelled throughout India.  The trip was initially to attract wealthy Indian clients who desired to have their jewels reset in platinum in the Western taste of the 1920s.  While there, they found and purchased vast amounts of Indian stones and pearls which they brought back to London to mount for the fashionable society ladies of Paris and London who clamored for jewels in the Indian style.  The grass is always greener.  Of special impact were the many emeralds with which the Cartier team returned.  The Cartier showpieces at the 1925 Paris International Exhibition featured many of these emeralds.  This set of exquisite flower-set emeralds was reserved specifically for this important parure.

I insist that you click on the image above to see the detail of this masterpiece.  

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