A fine belle époque diamond, ruby and pearl devant de corsage, by Cartier,

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Lot 128
A fine belle époque diamond, ruby and pearl devant de corsage,
by Cartier, circa 1910

Sold for £ 144,000 (US$ 193,936) inc. premium
A fine belle époque diamond, ruby and pearl devant de corsage, by Cartier, circa 1910
Designed as a ribbon bow, set throughout with cushion-shaped, old brilliant, single and rose-cut diamonds in platinum millegrain settings, the central cluster between hinged openwork double loops, highlighted by diamond floral clusters, six circular-cut rubies and fringes of diamond drops, terminating in two articulated diamond tassels of unequal length, with pierced cupola surmounts and suspending six natural pearls, diamonds approximately 21.70 carats total, signed Cartier Paris Londres, each tassel is detachable to form a pair of pendent earrings (surmounts now deficient), length at longest point 13.3cm.

Footnotes

  • From 1900-1914, Cartier’s jewels drew inspiration from the Court of Versailles as a means to complement the glamorous social life of their international and wealthy clientele. Flowers, garlands, wreaths, fluttering ribbons, bows and tassels were translated from 18th century pattern books into precious jewels in the Garland Style, which in turn had a lightness and lacelike quality due to the technical freedom and innovation of working in platinum - a metal that was as light as it was strong.

    Of all types of jewel, perhaps the bodice ornament best epitomises the lavishness of the belle époque. Large and opulent, it was worn across the tightly corseted front of the dress either as stomacher or epaulette and had a relatively short life span as it all but vanished when the bodice was replaced in fashion by looser, more vertical lines around 1910.

    This brooch is a rare surviving example from this extravagant period of jewellery production.

    Cf: Nadelhaoffer, Hans, Cartier Jewelers Extraordinary, London, 1984, chapter 3 `The Garland Style`, and page 53, plate 32 for a diamond ribbon bow stomacher of similar inspiration.
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