A rare art deco black lacquer bangle, by Cartier, circa 1935 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
The sprung black lacquer cuff, applied to the front with three detachable diamond floral clips, set throughout with old brilliant, brilliant and single-cut diamonds, diamonds approximately 10.80 carats total, signed Cartier Paris, numbered, French assay marks, inner diameter 5.6cm. Sold for £96,000
Notes: In 1934, Cartier launched its black lacquer cuff bangle with detachable diamond clips. It was striking, sculptural, bold and modern; the purity of precious white diamonds juxtaposed with the stark black lacquer gloss was a masterpiece in monochrome simplicity and the jewel fast became a best selling line in London, Paris and New York.
The consummate skill and artistry of Chinese and Japanese lacquer work had been greatly admired in the West from the 17th century and Cartier successfully integrated this difficult technique with the taste for art deco. It was also a practical choice because when dry, lacquer is resistant to abrasion and damage by water and acid.
By mounting clips onto a bangle and thereby creating two jewels in one, Cartier 'fulfilled the trend for justifying a luxury article by its function' (Nadelhoffer, Cartier, 'Jewelers Extraordinary', London, 1984). Although the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had contributed to the worldwide financial slump of the 1930s, paradoxically this was also the decade in which Cartier created numerous masterpieces and these transformable jewels helped persuade the buyer that the expense was worthwhile. Customers could commission a bangle fitting to be designed around their existing clip jewels.
The bangle offered here is a rare survivor from this period of technical ingenuity and the epitome of late art deco style. The floral clips are similar in execution to a flower clip bangle created by special order by Cartier Paris in 1939 and now in the Cartier Collection.
See 'The Cartier Collection Jewelry', with text by François Chaille from notes and writing by Éric Nussbaum, Flammarion, 2004, pp 201-204 and p231 and Rudoe, Judy, 'Cartier 1900-1939', London, 1997, p 61 and pp 330-331, for design drawings of various bangles
A fine art deco onyx, coral, enamel and diamond penannular brooch, by Cartier, circa 1925 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
The open ended ridged coral hoop with enamel and single-cut diamond detail, terminating in a carved onyx bead each inlaid with a brilliant-cut diamond, to a cylindrical pin head set with single-cut diamonds in a cross formation with enamel detail, the later cone-shaped pin guard decorated with black enamel, signed Cartier and numbered, length 6.2cm. Sold for £45,600
Notes: Cartier unveiled jewels with daring colour combinations in 1925 at the Paris Exhibition. The most original and pronounced assortment, of which this brooch is a fine example, juxtaposed carved coral with diamonds and onyx. Some pieces additionally included emeralds. Previous years had seen simpler combinations, such as diamonds with onyx, sometimes with a hint of colour. Never before had such strongly contrasting colours been combined and expressed in a single piece of jewellery. The penannular brooch was a revival of the Iron Age Celtic design. Cartier redesigned it slightly by opening the ring, and using the sliding pin with bayonet clasp.
See Bonhams catalogue of Fine Jewellery, London, 24 April 2008, lot 147, for a penannular brooch, by Cartier, in similar taste. See also, Rudoe, Judy 'Cartier 1900-1939', British Museum London, 1997, pp 208-210, Gabardi, Melissa 'Art Deco Jewellery 1920-1949', Antique Collectors Club, 1989, pp 77-90, for further information.
A diamond single-stone ring, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
The brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 3.03 carats, within an 18 carat yellow gold four-claw setting, each shoulder set with a row of smaller brilliant-cut stones, signed Cartier and numbered, London hallmarks, maker's mark, ring size M, Cartier certificate of authenticity, maker's case and presentation box - Sold for £31,200
A diamond necklace, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Designed as a collar of articulated C-shaped links, set throughout with brilliant-cut diamonds, diamonds approximately 14.25 carats total, signed Cartier, numbered, maker's mark, French assay mark, maker's case. Sold for £28,800
A pair of art deco diamond earclips, by Cartier, circa 1935 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Each half-hoop of stepped baguette-cut diamonds, graduating in size from the centre, diamonds approximately 5.25 carats total, signed Cartier London, length 1.5cm, cased. Sold for £24,000
An enamel, diamond and amethyst 'drape' brooch by Cartier, circa 1915 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Each circular cabochon amethyst and white enamel terminal, suspending two swagged chains of articulated white enamel box links, alternating with brilliant-cut diamonds, each chain terminating at the centre in a polished amethyst drop, capped by baguette, brilliant and rose-cut diamonds, signed Cartier NY, length 10.6cm. Sold for £13,200
Note: See Nadelhoffer, Hans, "Cartier", London, 2007, page 133, plate 146 for a similar white enamel and gem-set brooch-pendant designed by Charles Jacqueau and made by Cartier Paris in 1913.
A tortoiseshell, turquoise and diamond brooch/pendant, by Cartier, 1956 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Modelled as the bust of a Moor, the carved black tortoiseshell head wearing a cabochon turquoise and brilliant-cut diamond turban, the elongated neck encased in a textured collar with brilliant-cut diamond necklace, above cabochon turquoise shoulders, signed Cartier and numbered, maker's mark, London hallmarks, French assay marks, brooch and pendant fittings supplied, length 6.6cm., fitted cased - Sold for £10,800
An art deco diamond clip brooch, by Cartier, circa 1930 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Of 'demi-lune' form with pierced detail throughout, the crenellated base issuing two arches of old brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, meeting in a scrolled surmount with a larger claw-set old brilliant-cut diamond below, principal diamond approximately 1.10 carats, remaining diamonds approximately 3.20 carats total, signed Cartier London, length 3.4cm. Sold for £8,400
A lady's gold and diamond-set wristwatch, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
The square mother-of-pearl dial with Roman numerals and secret signature at ten o'clock, within a single-cut diamond bezel, on an 18 carat gold articulated brick-link strap with deployant clasp, signed Cartier and numbered, European convention marks, inner diameter of strap 6.3cm. Sold for £7,200
A pair of sapphire and diamond 'Panthère' earclips, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Each hoop pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds and cabochon sapphires, diamonds approximately 3.50 carats total, signed Cartier and numbered, length 2.5cm. Sold for £6,000
Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Cartier.
An 18 carat yellow gold 'Maillon Panthère' parure, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd Comprising a collar necklace, bracelet and a pair of hoop earrings, each designed as a series of brick-links, each signed Cartier and numbered, necklace and bracelet with maker's mark, French assay mark and European Convention marks, earrings with maker's mark and French assay mark, lengths: necklace - 41.7cm., bracelet - 19.5cm., earrings - 1.7cm., each with maker's case (3) Sold for £5,400
An 18 carat yellow gold 'Maillon Panthère' parure, by Cartier © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
Comprising a collar necklace, bracelet and a pair of hoop earrings, each designed as a series of brick-links, each signed Cartier and numbered, necklace and bracelet with maker's mark, French assay mark and European Convention marks, earrings with maker's mark and French assay mark, lengths: necklace - 41.7cm., bracelet - 19.5cm., earrings - 1.7cm., each with maker's case (3) Sold for £5,400
A Belle Epoque seed pearl and diamond bracelet, by Cartier, circa 1910 © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd
The delicate woven seed pearl strap of openwork design, to a rose-cut diamond buckle motif clasp, signed Cartier and numbered, French maker's mark, length 19.0cm., pearls untested, fitted maker's case in green leather. Sold for £5,040
Bonhams. Fine Jewellery. New Bond Street, 9 Dec 2009 www.bonhams.com