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18 Karat Gold, Lacque Burgauté, Enamel, Mother-of-Pearl, Jade and Diamond Vanity Case, Cartier, France - Sotheby's

The front and reverse set with two rectangular lacque burgauté panels depicting Chinoiserie garden scenes illustrating a scholar and his apprentice, decorated with a carved jade tablet and small rose-cut diamonds, bordered by red enamel, the edges heightened in black enamel applied in a geometric motif, the interior fitted with a mirror and two compartments, measuring approximately 3 by 2 by ½ inches, signed Cartier Paris Londres New York, numbered 8453, with French assay and partial workshop marks; circa 1925. Estimation: 7,000 - 9,000 USD - Lot. Vendu 37,500 USD

NOTE: Often made during the nineteenth century in China or Japan, the lacque burgauté plaques seen here were often imported by Cartier from the Far East. To achieve the smooth and glossy finish of the tablets, which were typically set with tinted and engraved mother-of-pearl inlays, multiple layers of lacquer and various polishing techniques were utilized. The geometric enamelwork and carved jade decorations on the present vanity case further exemplify the influence of Eastern motifs on Art Deco designs.

For further information and vanity cases of similar design please see:
Cartier: Innovation Through the 20th Century, published by Flammarion, page 134.
Cartier: Jewelers Extrordinairy, Hans Nadelhoffer, plates 38-39

Sotheby's. Magnificent Jewels/ New York | 17 Apr 2013  www.sothebys.com