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The Cartier Palm Tree Diamond Clip Brooch. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Set with circular and baguette-cut diamond leaves with briolette-cut diamond coconuts to the pavé-set articulated trunk, 1939, with French assay marks. Signed by Cartier, Paris, no. 07553 Estimate: CHF600,000 - CHF800,000 ($436,681 - $582,242). Price Realized  CHF641,500 ($466,885)

Literature: "Cartier: Splendeurs de La Joaillerie", La Bibliothéque des Arts, Lausanne, 1996, page 155
Franco Cologni and Eric Nussbaum, "Platinum by Cartier, Triumphs of the Jewelers' Art", Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1996, page 214
Musée du Petit Palais, "The Art of Cartier", Diffusion Paris-Musées, Paris, 1989, page 163

Notes: Exotic themes were very fashionable in the performing and visual arts of the 1920s and 1930s. There was "La Revue Nègre" which had its premiere at the music hall Champs des Elysées in 19xx. The star dancer, Josephine Baker, became a much talked about figure, particularly celebrated for stunts such as walking about town with a panther. In the visual arts, the famous photographer, Man Ray, exhibited his famous picture "Noire et Blanche" in 1926. It depicted a model with her head tilted in contrast to an African mask. As for jewellery, the exhibition "Les Arts Précieux" on the occasion of the 1931 Colonial Exhibition brought exotic influences to bear on the modern creators. Designers such as Jean Fouquet and Raymond Templier produced brooches incorporating statuettes and tribal masks.

The present brooch is the apotheosis of the Art Deco trend towards exoticism. It also represents Cartier at their most creative. Produced in 1939, the manufacture is exquisite. 

Interestingly, the jewel's form echoes the palm trees cast in a pair of doors by Armand Albert Rateau (see above image) created for the "Pavillon d'Elégance" at the 1925 "Exposition des Arts Décoratifs". It happened to be the building in which Cartier exhibited, as they chose to forego displaying with the rest of the jewellers in the Grand Palais. A print representing the doors was published in the special edition of the "Gazette du Bon Ton" accompanying the exhibit. 

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An impressive emerald and diamond pendant-brooch, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as an old European and old mine-cut diamond openwork panel with a central rectangular-cut emerald weighing 12.28 carats, suspending a diamond palmette and emerald bead drop, to the pear-shaped diamond surmount,circa 1927, in its original Cartier red leather fitted case. By Cartier. Estimate: CHF100,000 - CHF120,000 ($72,780 - $87,336)Price Realized  CHF163,000  ($118,632)

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An important diamond and gem-set "Tutti Frutti" bracelet, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as a pavé-set diamond vine with carved ruby, emerald and sapphire leaves to the cabochon detail, circa 1928, 18.0 cm.Signed by Cartier, nos. 2919264 and 9677. Estimate: CHF130,000 - CHF160,000 ($94,614 - $116,448). Price Realized  CHF146,500 ($106,623)

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An impressive twin-stone diamond ring, by Cartier. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Set with two old mine-cut diamonds weighing 6.13 and 6.33 carats to the tiered baguette-cut diamond shoulders and plain hoop, circa 1935, size 6¼, with French assay marks. Signed by Cartier, number indistinct. Estimate: CHF70,000 - CHF80,000 ($94,614 - $116,448). Price Realized  CHF146,500 ($106,623)

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An elegant diamond and sapphire bracelet, by Cartier. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as a pierced old European-cut diamond articulated band with baguette-cut sapphire borders to the calibré-cut sapphire detail and buckle clasp, circa 1928, 18.0 cm. Signed by Cartier. Estimate: CHF100,000 - CHF120,000 ($72,780 - $87,336). Price Realized  CHF113,500 ($82,606)

Literature: Melissa Gabardi, "Art Deco Jewellery, 1920-1949", Antique Collectors' Club, Suffolk, 1989, page 158

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A fine diamond clip brooch, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as a circular-cut diamond stylised pyramid within a baguette-cut diamond openwork surround to the diamond-set arched bar top, circa 1932. Signed by Cartier, London, nos. 7881 and 133. Estimate: CHF53,000 - CHF66,000 ($38,574 - $47,307). Price Realized  CHF88,200 ($64,192)

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A pair of diamond ear-pendants, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each designed as an old mine-cut diamond articulated hoop of stylised cartouche motif with a pear-shaped diamond drop to the diamond surmount and top, circa 1929, in its original Cartier pink leather fitted case. Signed by Cartier, London. Estimate: CHF44,000 - CHF50,000 ($32,023 - $36,390). Price Realized  CHF86,000 ($62,591)

 

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A mother-of-pearl, coral, bronze and diamond table clock, by Cartier. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

With gilt finished eight day lever movement, the mother-of-pearl rectangular case applied with an antique bronze figure of a king with coral and diamond detail resting on an onyx base to the coral baton numerals and diamond-set hands, the reverse with the coral initials SR, 1939, 19.0 x 10.0 cm., in its original Cartier red leather fitted case. Signed by Cartier, no. 62, with certificate of authenticity from Cartier. Estimate: CHF50,000 - CHF60,000 ($36,390 - $43,668). Price Realized  CHF57,500 ($41,849)

NotesCf. Jader Barracca, Giampiero Negretti and Franco Nencini, "Le Temps de Cartier", Wrist International S.r.l., Milan, 1989, page 187

The House of Cartier's fascination with Egypt started in the 19th Century. Yet, it was only circa 1910 that the production of the most inspired objects began. The 1920s witnessed prolific creation of Egyptian-inspired masterpieces such as the Sarcophagus vanity case and the Temple Gate clock, produced in 1925 and 1927 respectively.

Louis Cartier, an avid collector of ancient jewellery and objets, had the inspiration to incorporate fragments of such pieces into his creations. The most frequently used in the Egyptian-style were ancient faience motifs such as scarabs. The antique bronze figure on this clock is more rare. Possibly an ornament for a sarcophagus, it depicts a king, an attribution which may be deduced from the inward turning serpent on the headpiece which represented royalty in ancient Egypt. The manner in which the figure is wrapped, suggesting mummification, points to the fact that the King is defunct. His beard, the symbol for royalty, is unusual due to its ribbing. Not a real beard, it was part of ceremonial costume which was attached to the face by a string behind the ears. 

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An enamel and lapis lazuli desk clock and barometer, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

The silvered circular engine-turned dial with black Roman numerals in a striped blue enamel barrel case, a barometer to the reverse and recessed winder to the rectangular lapis lazuli plinth, circa 1924, 9.5 cm. high, in a later Cartier red leather fitted case. Dial signed by Cartier, exterior nos. 155 and 459, interior nos. 18432, 101053 and 2037/94, with certificate of authenticity from Cartier. Estimate: CHF45,000 - CHF55,000 ($32,751 - $40,029). Price Realized  CHF48,300 ($35,153)

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A diamond double clip brooch, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each clip designed as a circular and baguette-cut diamond scroll to the old mine-cut diamond spray with marquise and baguette-cut diamond detail, circa 1925.Signed by Cartier, London, no. 2205 (2). Estimate: CHF25,000 - CHF35,000 ($18,195 - $25,473). Price Realized  CHF46,000 ($33,479)

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A pair of jadeite and diamond ear-pendants, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each designed as a carved jadeite panel to the bezel-set vari-cut diamond surmount suspended from a circular carved jadeite top, circa 1924. Signed by Cartier, no. 2818357. Estimate: CHF37,000 - CHF44,000 ($26,929 - $32,023). Price Realized  CHF46,000 ($33,479)

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A pearl, diamond and aquamarine bracelet, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as a ten-strand graduated pearl torsade with circular and baguette-cut diamond shoulders to the fluted barrel-shaped aquamarine and diamond clasp, circa 1930, 18.0 cm. Signed by Cartier, nos. 7973 and 3117520. Estimate: CHF29,000 - CHF36,000 ($21,106 - $26,201). Price Realized  CHF40,250 ($29,294)

The pearls have not been tested to be natural

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A diamond, rock crystal and onyx brooch, by Cartier. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Designed as a frosted rock crystal ellipse with a circular-cut diamond stylised chimaera motif to the onyx and diamond shoulders, circa 1925, with French assay marks, in its original Cartier red leather fitted case. Signed by Cartier, no. 02969. Estimate: CHF16,000 - CHF20,000 ($10,917 - $14,556). Price Realized  CHF39,100 ($28,457)

Notes: Cf. Hans Nadelhoffer, "Cartier", Thames & Hudson, London, 1984, page 195

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A diamond double clip brooch, by Cartier. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each clip designed as a pavé-set and baguette-cut diamond pierced stylised shield-shaped panel to the circular-cut diamond centre, circa 1926, with French assay marks. Each clip and frame signed by Cartier, Paris (2). Estimate: CHF29,000 - CHF36,000 ($21,106 - $26,201). Price Realized  CHF36,800 ($26,783)

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A set of three diamond "Lotus" clip brooches,  by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each designed as three single, baguette and demi-lune cut diamond lotus flowers to the pavé-set and baguette-cut diamond convex bar, circa 1930, with French assay marks. All by Cartier, no. 7670C, with certificate of authenticity from Cartier (3). Estimate: CHF22,000 - CHF28,000 ($16,012 - $20,378). Price Realized  CHF32,200 ($23,435)

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A pair of gem-set and enamel Egyptian Revival scarab brooches,  by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Each set with a ribbed coral and black enamel body with a turquoise head to the diamond-set eyes and antennae, circa 1938, with French assay marks. Signed by Cartier, Paris, nos. 09051 and 09056 (2). Estimate: CHF22,000 - CHF25,000 ($14,556 - $18,195). Price Realized  CHF32,200 ($23,435)

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A diamond feather brooch,  by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

Set with circular and baguette-cut diamonds, circa 1927, in its original Cartier red leather case. Signed by Cartier, London, no. 3037. Estimate: CHF18,000 - CHF22,000 ($13,100 - $16,012). Price Realized  CHF29,900 ($21,761)

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A diamond, rock crystal and onyx lorgnette, by CartierPhoto Christie's Image Ltd 1998

The rose-cut diamond framed glasses fold into a rock crystal case with single-cut diamond and pearl detail to the circular diamond and onyx surmount suspended from a diamond-set pendent hoop, circa 1923, with French assay marks. Signed by Cartier, Paris, Londres, New-York. Estimate: CHF22,000 - CHF25,000 ($16,012 - $18,195). Price Realized  CHF24,150 ($17,576)

Christie's . ART DECO JEWELLERY, 17 November 1998, Geneva