Lot 160. An exceptional Art Deco 'Tutti Frutti' bracelet, by Cartier. Estimate GBP 300,000 - GBP 400,000 (USD 490,500 - USD 654,000). Price realised GBP 1,150,050 (USD 1,887,232) © Christie's Image Ltd 2011
Designed as an undulating circular-cut diamond vine with black enamel border detail, mounted with alternating carved emerald bead leaves and clusters of ruby bead berries studded with diamond collets, to the pavé-set diamond buckle clasp, circa 1928, 18.5cm long. Signed Cartier, no. 7250
Literature: Cf. Judy Rudoe, 'Cartier 1900-1939', published by Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1997, p.228, no. 158, for a similar bracelet made in 1928.
Notes: Few jewels have captured the imagination and enthusiasm of connoisseurs and collectors as the Tutti Frutti creations by the Maison Cartier. These pieces are directly inspired by the intricate Mogul carving and craftsmanship found throughout the decorative arts of India from the 16th century onwards.
Jacques Cartier was to make his first trip to India in 1911. This visit had a profound effect on the jewels produced by the firm throughout the 1920s and 30s and indirectly affected the entire field of jewellery design which Cartier so strongly influenced. Alongside the rather severe, geometric Art Deco style, mainly executed in diamonds, Cartier produced vibrant Tutti Frutti jewels, full of colour and flowing naturalistic design. Summing up the influence that Mogul jewellery had on the designs of Cartier, Ettagale Blauer wrote, "Though strongly influenced by the Indian jewellery, the Cartier designs are marked only by the most finely extracted essence of that style: the spirit and colour are reproduced, but we see no trace of the coarseness of the original design." Such was the skill of the Cartier workshop at its zenith, reworking such exotic influences into consummately elegant jewels.
Christie's. Important Jewels, 8 June 2011, London, King Street