Cartier: Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend!
It was a grey morning, thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon, when a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal captured my fancy:
You are cordially invited to The Cartier Haute Joaillerie Exhibition at the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion at 52nd Street. For the first time ever in the U.S., the largest collection of Cartier High Jewelry will be showcased in this open to the public exhibition.
If I hurried, maybe I could beat the rain. When it rains in Manhattan, cabs became as scarce as hen's teeth, traffic bogs down, and gridlock ensues. And at all costs, midtown Manhattan with all the construction must be avoided.
Arriving shortly after ten o’clock, I was greeted by a uniformed doorman, who handed me a gift that I could not resist—a little red box in a little red bag tied with a little red Cartier ribbon. My heart skipped a beat.
"Can I wear it Saturday night?" I asked. He smiled indulgently. Glancing to the right of the door, I promptly fell in love, not with the doorman but with the Art Deco bracelet you see above.
Why the Celebration?
Having been founded in Paris in 1847, Cartier celebrated 100 Years in New York with an exhibition of fine jewelry from October 21 – 29, 2017 at the landmarked Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street. The exquisite building was originally designed as a residence in 1904–it's hard to believe–but by 1917, it had been acquired by the firm of Cartier.
What Is the Cartier Collection?
The Cartier Collection now comprises over 1,600 items, of which a number have been selected for display at this exhibition. The collection saw its genesis in the 1970s when a decision was made to bring it together for conservation purposes. There are examples of watches, clocks and fine jewelry created by Cartier. The first major exhibition of the Cartier Collection was held in 1989 at the exquisite Petit Palais in Paris, one of my favorite hangouts. Take it from me, to sip an espresso in the garden that's hidden within the museum is heaven.
Around the World
A mounted plaque explained "that the Cartier Collection has shown selections of its pieces at some of the world’s most renowned institutions, amongst them the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, the Kremlin Museums in Moscow, the Palace Museum inside the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Grand Palais in Paris." Here are a few dazzlers:
Who Ordered Those Gorgeous Pieces?
There were so many exquisite pieces, I moved slowly around the exhibition in the two ground-floor rooms, admiring the beauty and craftsmanship without paying much attention to whether I was looking at a cushion-shaped sapphire or a rose-cut diamond. Instead, I found myself wondering who had owned these pieces. And then I came across the sheet to the right, which contained intriguing morsels of information.
What a lucky lady that Mrs Daisy Fellowes, I thought, and what a sport the Duke of Windsor! But, of course, we all knew that he was besotted with the Duchess. Going down the list, I wondered about who had placed that special order in 1969 and felt certain that Maria Felix was the talk-of-the-town when she appeared at the opera wearing the snake clip earrings.
The Age of Innocence, or was IT?
Last month, quite fittingly as it turned out, my book club read Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence," a time capsule of life in the 1870s amongst the upper classes here in New York. Much to our surprise, we learned that going to the opera on time was not considered fashionable. Nowadays, opera houses world-wide are having a hard time in attracting young people. Perhaps the operas are too long for modern-day tastes, or perhaps a more 'fashionable' schedule might be just the thing to fill those empty seats with youthful bodies.
At Cartier's, faced with so many sumptuous pieces, I thought I should take my time, not be too hasty in making any purchases, so I took a seat near the leopards and thought some more.
But now it's your turn: if Cartier would like to send you a gift, which of these would you select? I have already put in a request for the Art Deco bracelet, but there's still that smiling alligator.
And what what was in the iconic red bag from Cartier? A handsome set of high-quality note cards embossed with a charming Cartier motif. And to think, all I did was walk in. Cartier est très chic, non?
By the way, we have changed the COMMENTS box on the blog, as some found the former one difficult to use. Now, you can simply drop me a line, which will come into my email. So give it a try, will you? I'd like to hear from you and see how the system works.
Hope to see you next week when I'll have the coffee ready. Thanks for stopping by and remember, sharing is caring. Perhaps if you share a little more, someone might share with you a little surprise from Cartier.
Jusqu'à ce qu'on se revoie.