In the second half of the 20th century, Cartier introduced the legendary Diadea collection, inspired by a 1911 necklace made for the Russian Imperial Family. By that time, the Maison Cartier had secured quite a few royal warrants, supplying the royal households of Spain, Siam, Greece and soon followed by many others, with their most magnificent pieces.(The Cartiers, 2021 Ballantine Books, by Francesca Cartier Brickell) This attests to the Maison’s exceptional craftsmanship and original designs which were a driving force for the brand’s increasing popularity among the elites and its growing presence all over the globe with new branches being set up.
The Diadea collection uses the leaf as its driving motif, white gold with diamonds, capturing the essence of grace and sophistication. The source of inspiration for this collection originates in the Art Nouveau style which was prevalent during the early 1900s. It features flowing lines, organic motifs, and a sense of movement, reflecting the artistic sensibilities of that period.
The Diadea collection remains an integral part of Cartier’s heritage, with contemporary pieces still paying homage to the original designs. The delicate and feminine aesthetic continues to captivate jewellery enthusiasts around the world, making Diadea a lasting symbol of Cartier’s timeless elegance.
The Lanières collection, launched around the same time as Diadea, is characterised by a clean minimalist look featuring deconstructed series of diamond-set square links available in yellow, white, and pink gold which create a fluid and flexible piece resembling straps or lanyards. This collection showcases Cartier’s mastery in transposing everyday objects, similarly to the Juste Un Clou line, and elevating them to sophisticated and exceptionally handcrafted jewels. Cartier’s Lanières collection exemplified the popular trend of diamond tennis bracelets and necklaces originating in the late 1970s, which in turn drew inspiration from the Art Deco style prevalent during the Interwar Period of 1919-1939. The pieces featured streamlined geometric patterns, drawing upon the industrial and innovative tendencies of the time, and were often set in platinum, a metal which perfectly complements the icy sparkle of diamonds, and which had been pioneered by Cartier since the end of the 19th century. These designs were in opposition to the expressive Art Nouveau style and its fluid lines.
The Lanières collection, now discontinued, remains highly sought after by the collectors and has become a timeless classic in the world of jewellery. The Lanières collection makes a shift towards modernity and simplicity in Cartier’s designs, setting the stage for the brand’s continued evolution and innovation. It demonstrates Cartier’s ability to adapt to changing trends while staying true to its commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and timeless beauty.
Towards the middle of the 20th century, Cartier introduced the iconic “C” motif which would become synonymous with the brand’s identity. The “C” collection was a tribute to the founder of Cartier, Louis-François Cartier, and his initials. This collection was characterised by the interlocking “C” motif, often incorporated into bold and statement pieces. The “C” collection represented a departure from the more delicate and intricate designs of the past, embracing a bolder and more contemporary aesthetic. The interlocking “C” motif became a symbol of Cartier’s heritage and craftsmanship, instantly recognizable to jewellery enthusiasts around the world.
One of the most notable pieces from the “C” collection is the Cartier Love bracelet, which was designed in 1969. For its launch, twenty-five pairs were given away to celebrity couples including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (The Cartiers, 2021 Ballantine Books, by Francesca Cartier Brickell). It became an instant sensation, capturing the spirit of love and commitment The Love bracelet features the iconic “C” motif, intricately engraved on a solid gold band. The Cartier Love Bracelet. Its unique design, with a screwdriver used to fasten the bracelet, symbolizes the idea of locking one’s love and devotion.
The “C” collection continues to be a cornerstone of Cartier’s offerings, with new interpretations and designs constantly being introduced. The interlocking “C” motif has become an enduring symbol of Cartier’s legacy, representing the brand’s unwavering commitment and timeless elegance.
CARTIER Ι A DIAMOND 'C' NECKLACE AND EARRING SUITE
Estimate £4,000 - £6,000
Cartier jewellery has not only captured the hearts of individuals around the world but has also become highly sought after at auction houses. The demand for vintage and antique Cartier pieces has skyrocketed in recent years, with collectors and enthusiasts eager to own a piece of the brand’s rich history.
At auction, Cartier jewellery often commands high prices, reflecting its rarity, craftsmanship and historical significance. Vintage pieces from iconic collections such as Diadea, Lanières and the C de Cartier are particularly coveted, with collectors willing to pay a premium for these exceptional pieces.
Selling Cartier jewellery at auction can be a lucrative endeavour, with the potential for substantial returns on investment. However, it is essential to ensure the authenticity and provenance of the pieces before consigning them for sale. Working with reputable auction houses and experts in Cartier jewellery can help navigate the intricacies of the auction market and maximise the value of the pieces.
On the other hand, buying Cartier jewellery at auction offers the opportunity to acquire unique and significant pieces that may not be available through traditional retail channels. Auction houses often feature a wide range of Cartier jewellery, from vintage classics to contemporary designs, allowing buyers to explore and discover pieces that resonate with their personal style and preferences.
In conclusion, the history of Cartier jewellery is a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and timeless beauty. From the delicate designs of the Diadea collection to the brilliance of the Lanières collection and the iconic “C” motif, Cartier has created durable pieces that have stood the test of time. Whether buying or selling at auction, Cartier jewellery continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike ensuring that its legacy will continue for generations to come.