Cartier exhibit in Paris explores French jeweler's 'style and history'

November 29, 2013 5:32 PM

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Cartier exhibit in Paris explores French jeweler's 'style and history'

The exhibition at the Grand Palais will feature sparkling items like the first Cartier wristwatch and pieces from Grace of Monaco's jewelry box.

From December 4 to February 16, the Grand Palais in Paris will be home to the most spectacular exhibit ever on the famous French jeweler and watchmaker.

Going beyond the prestige associated with the brand's jewelry collections and iconic watches, the exhibition will highlight Cartier's role within the wider context of art history and French history. This journey through time is indicated in the exhibition's title: "Cartier: Style and History."

Within the scenography created by exhibition designers Nicolas Groult and Sylvain Roca within the 1,200 sq m Salon d'Honneur at the Grand Palais, visitors can view 600 exceptional Cartier pieces, each more refined than the last.

Since 1847, when Louis-François Cartier took over a Parisian jewelry workshop, the French brand has continuously created exceptional jewelry, presenting pieces that are appreciated worldwide for their beauty as well as for their social function.

In addition to purely ornamental pieces, visitors will be able to view items once seen as practical necessities in high society, including cigarette cases, lipstick cases doubling as watches, and even the brand's first wristwatches, introduced in 1888.

The exhibition will emphasize key dates in Cartier's history through emblematic pieces of jewelry, ranging from the first Cartier pieces in an abstract, modernist style (1906) to the tiara worn by Kate Middleton at her royal wedding. Visitors can also admire the first Cartier jewelry wristwatch, covered with the now famous "Panthère" motif, a textured pattern of diamonds and onyx.

The French brand's collections have been worn by some of the world's most illustrious personalities. Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece to Napoleon I, made her first purchase from Cartier in 1856. American heiress Barbara Hutton and film icons Marlene Dietrich and Liz Taylor were also among Cartier's most loyal clients.

Around 20 pieces in the exhibit are taken directly from the collection of the royal family of Monaco, allowing visitors an intimate look into Grace of Monaco's jewelry box. The exhibit will also spotlight the jewelry owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, an avid collector of French and Russian art, who was considered to be Cartier New York's most frequent customer in her day.

"Cartier: Style and History" takes place in Paris from December 4 to February 16 at the Salon d'Honneur in the Grand Palais.


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