Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Cartier Diamond and Coral Jabot Scarf Pin, 1920

The Victoria & Albert Museum

This long scarf pin by Cartier features three overlapping jeweled semicircles at its head. This pattern is echoed in miniature on the clip at its base. Made between 1920 and 1930, this style of brooch was very fashionable at the time. It is made up of two separate decorative ends which are joined by a pin.

When made, Cartier referred to these pins as “cliquet pins” because of the snap fastening which held the lower element in place over the sharp point of the pin. However, overall such pins are referred to as jabot pins (after a cravat or jabot) or sûreté pins.

A pin like this—in the 1920s would have been worn to secure a scarf or worn on the lapel. Sometimes, they were even worn at the front of a cloche hat. In all instances, only the two jeweled ends of the piece would be seen, with the pin concealed. This example of platinum set with fans of coral, onyx and brilliant-cut diamonds typifies both the look of the Art Deco and Cartier’s preferred style for these pins. 

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