Cartier Exhibit Opens in Paris

A still from a film playing at the exhibition of Mike Todd presenting Elizabeth Taylor with  a ruby and diamond suite at Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat, France in 1957. Did you spot the distinctive red box? (© Premium Archive Films / Getty Image)

A still from a film playing at the exhibition of Mike Todd presenting Elizabeth Taylor with
a ruby and diamond suite at Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat, France in 1957. Did you spot the distinctive red box? (© Premium Archive Films / Getty Image)

The most comprehensive exhibition ever of Cartier objects has opened in Paris today. Held in the Salon d’Honneur of the Grand Palais, ‘Cartier: Style and History’ has 600 items along with 300 sketches on display, spanning the creation of the maison in 1847 through to the 1970s. The show takes the visitor on a journey through changing styles, putting the evolution of Cartier designs into the context of society, fashion, and world events at the time.

The Halo tiara worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day, the original Love bracelet, Grace Kelly’s engagement ring, a ruby necklace given to Elizabeth Taylor by her third husband Mike Todd, a 478-carat Sri Lankan sapphire that once belonged to Queen Marie of Romania, the first Tutti Frutti designs and many more special items are on display. Most objects come from Cartier’s own archives (read an interesting article about that here), but loans have also been provided by Queen Elizabeth II, the royal family of Monaco, the estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, among others, as well as public institutions. Prepare to be dazzled.

The exhibition runs until February 16, 2014. Watch a teaser video released by the Grand Palais at the end of the post.

The 'Tutti Frutti' necklace of Daisy Fellows, originally commissioned in 1936  but remade several times, this being the final version.

The ‘Tutti Frutti’ necklace of Daisy Fellows, originally commissioned in 1936
but remade several times, this being the final version.

One of many pieces commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, the Flamingo Brooch.

One of many pieces commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, the Flamingo Brooch.

This Cartier necklace was famously commissioned by Mexican actress María Félix,  who brought her pet crocodile to the Cartier store to act as model.

This Cartier necklace was famously commissioned by Mexican actress María Félix,
who brought her pet crocodile to the Cartier store to act as model.

One of many tiaras on display, the Cartier Halo tiara was originally purchased  by the then-Duke of York in 1936, gifted to Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday, and loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge for her wedding day in 2011.

One of many tiaras on display, the Cartier Halo tiara was originally purchased
by the then-Duke of York in 1936, gifted to Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday, and loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge for her wedding day in 2011.

Gilded New York

A gold, natural pearl, demantoid garnet, and enamel necklace circa 1900 by Marcus & Co. (Courtesy of Siegelson, New York)

A gold, natural pearl, demantoid garnet, and enamel necklace circa 1900 by Marcus & Co. (Courtesy of Siegelson, New York)

The Gilded Age in New York, the late 19th century, is a legendary time of enormous Fifth Avenue mansions, sumptuous balls and one-upmanship that kept dressmakers and jewelers alike busy. Competing barons, and their wives, were determined to break through the old guard (and their old money) to be on top of New York society, and spent eye-watering sums of money to mark their status. The Museum of the City of New York is exploring this era in an exhibition entitled ‘Gilded New York’, which has over 100 pieces from this time on display, including jewelry. Like with fashion, many jewels came from Parisian maisons, but American companies like Tiffany & Co. and Marcus & Co. established their place in society and ushered in a new style that incorporated colored gemstones into the usual piles of pearls and diamonds. The exhibit is housed in the newly opened Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery at the museum and runs until November 30, 2014.

A gold, sapphire, zircon and enamel brooch  circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (Copyright Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A gold, sapphire, zircon and enamel brooch
circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (Copyright Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A platinum, gold, diamond, pearl, ruby, garnet and sapphire brooch  circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A platinum, gold, diamond, pearl, ruby, garnet and sapphire brooch
circa 1900 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A gold, diamond, enamel, turquoise and pearl necklace  circa 1904 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A gold, diamond, enamel, turquoise and pearl necklace
circa 1904 by Tiffany & Co. (© Tiffany & Co. Archives 2013)

A book has been published in conjunction with the exhibition called ‘Gilded New York: Design, Fashion and Society’, which you can get here. Also, check out this post on the exhibition for more images of the items and era.

Gilded New York Book Cover (The Museum of the City of New York/The Monacelli Press)

Gilded New York Book Cover (The Museum of the City of New York/The Monacelli Press)

Gilded New York Exhibition (The Museum of the City of New York)

Gilded New York Exhibition (The Museum of the City of New York)

Made in London: Jewellery Now Exhibition

As if The Cheapside Hoard wasn’t enough of a reason to go visit The Museum of London, now you can also see an exhibition that is a fitting juxtaposition alongside it.

Called ‘Made in London: Jewellery Now’, seven contemporary jewelry designers working in London today have their wares on display. Jordan Askill, Frances Wadsworth-Jones, Husam el Odeh, Duffy, Rachel Boston, Imogen Belfield and Noemi Klein were invited to share their craftsmanship and inspiration, including how the city influences them. It is certainly interesting to see, through both exhibits, what a trade that was established long ago produced in Elizabethan/Jacobean times and now. Learn about the jewelers and their individual styles in the video below.

The exhibition runs November 21 to April 27, 2014.

Jewels by JAR Exhibition at the MET

Sapphire, fire opal, amethyst, ruby, garnet and diamond  Butterfly Brooch, 1994 (Katharina Faerber/JAR)

Sapphire, fire opal, amethyst, ruby, garnet and diamond
Butterfly Brooch, 1994 (Katharina Faerber/JAR)

If there was ever a perfect example of why jewelry should be called art that you can wear, it would be the life’s work of Joel Arthur Rosenthal.

Rosenthal, working under the name JAR, is the first living jeweler to have a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and 400 pieces made over a span of 35 years are on display. He is renowned as much for his exceptional vision and execution skills as for his unusual business practices and personality. From his by-appointment Parisian shop, the secretive jeweler makes 100-120 wonderfully lush designs a year of his, not his client’s, choosing. The use of color, how the piece balances when worn, and the 3D effect of texture executed in gemstones is unparalleled, and has to be seen to be believed. It is only the second exhibition of his pieces and the first was an infamous London show in 2002 where all the lights were off and guests were given flashlights. The lights are on this time so you will get a good look at stunning jewelry that has mostly been loaned by his clients, but also come from the maison itself and the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Two fantastic interviews have been published recently that give some unusual insight into the mysterious jeweler. Vanessa Friedman of the Financial Times sat down with Rosenthal over peanut butter sandwiches in the Hamptons while Cathryn Horn of the New York Times chatted with him in Paris. It’s possible that they will be the last interviews until another exhibition comes up, whenever that may be.

The doors open to the public Wednesday, November 20, and the exhibition runs until March 9, 2014.

Diamond, aluminum, silver, and gold Geranium Brooch, 2007 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, aluminum, silver, and gold Geranium Brooch, 2007 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Silver, platinum and diamond bracelet, 2010 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Silver, platinum and diamond bracelet, 2010 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Sapphire, ruby, spinel, emerald, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, opal, aquamarine, citrine, and diamond Colored Balls Necklace, 1999 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Sapphire, ruby, spinel, emerald, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, opal, aquamarine, citrine, and diamond Colored Balls Necklace, 1999 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold Lilac Brooches, 2001 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold Lilac Brooches, 2001 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)