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Lot 310. Diamond Bracelet, Cartier, Paris. Estimate 160,000 — 200,000 USD. Lot sold 231,250 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

Composed of articulated segments of open geometric design, set with round diamonds, accented by single-cut diamonds, length 7 inches, signed Cartier Paris, with French assay mark; circa 1925.

NoteCartier’s Art Deco jewels represent one of the high points in the history of jewelry design.  The bracelet offered here captures a seamless stylistic transition from the delicacy and femininity of the Belle Époque period to the more substantial forms of the 1920s.  Here, Cartier has created a highly refined jewel that avoids excess, focusing instead on simplicity, geometry and a hint of the exotic.  The monochromatic palette of white diamonds against openwork platinum mounting allows the jewel’s Indo-Persian and floral motifs to speak as a whisper, constructing the appearance of a continuous, shimmering band.     

While fantastic statement pieces in their own right, Art Deco bracelets were even more dazzling when stacked one upon the other, creating an incredibly glamourous and self-consciously luxuriant effect.  Indeed, it was not uncommon for society women and actresses the likes of Evelyn Brent, Barbara Hutton, Tamara Lempicka and Myrna Loy to indulge in multiple bracelets running up their arms, solidifying these forms as being among the archetypal jewels of the Art Deco period.  

Sotheby's. Magnificent Jewels New York, 05 Dec 2017