Fri, 28th May 2021 11:00


Lot 189

Cartier | An Art Deco rock crystal and diamond lapel brooch, circa 1925

Cartier | An Art Deco rock crystal and diamond lapel brooch, circa 1925

Set throughout with old brilliant and single-cut diamonds, the surmount and pierced drop with finely worked Indian themed detailing, connected by a carved rectangular rock crystal frame, diamonds approx. 9.40 carats total, signed Cartier, numbered, length 7.5cm, maker's presentation case

From the private collection of the New York socialite Miss Augusta McCagg. Hence by decent.

This Cartier label brooch is a wonderful example of the early influence Indian art had on the jewellery being created by Cartier. Dating to circa 1925, the finely pierced setting shows Indian themes while embracing a highly monochrome colour palate, typical of early Art Deco jewellery. This combined with Cartier’s pioneering use of rock crystal makes this a striking example from arguably the firm’s most important period of output.

Mary Augusta McCagg, known as Augusta to the family, was born in New York in 1895 to Louis B. and Edith E. King McCagg. The family split their time between Newport, Rhode Island and New York City. Augusta was related to some of the most prominent families in America including the Kings, the Fishs, the Browns and the Vanderbilts.

In 1923, she travelled with her cousin John Nicholas Brown II, dubbed by the press “The Richest Baby in America” following the death of this father when he was just 3 months old. Together they celebrated his 23rd birthday in Egypt at the Great Pyramids.

In April 1924, Augusta was one of eight bridesmaids to her relative Cornelia Vanderbilt when she wed John Francis Amherst Cecil at Biltmore, North Carolina for the society wedding of the year.

During the Second World War, Augusta led civilian defence and organized the ambulance service of the Newport Chapter of the American Red Cross. Later she was a member of the Newport Country Club where she won golf championships. Augusta McCagg never married and passed away in 1965. This brooch has not been on the open market since its purchase in the mid 1920s, making this a rare example to be maintained within one family for nearly a century.

Sold for £150,000

Includes Buyer's Premium


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