- Cartier Certificate of Authenticity no. NY2008-47, dated May 12, 2010, stating the platinum, onyx, and diamond bracelet is Cartier Paris, 1924.
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. His three grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, built the house into a famous international jewelry empire serving royalty, Hollywood stars, and socialites. Cartier has created some of the most important jewelry and objects of art of the twentieth century with many iconic designs such as mystery clocks, Tutti Frutti jewelry and the Panthère line. In 1983, The Cartier Collection was established with the objective of acquiring important pieces that trace the firm’s artistic evolution. Today, Cartier has 200 stores in 125 countries.
Cartier created imaginative, and noteworthy, jewelry due in large measure to the inspiration of the inventive designers who worked for the company. One of the most creative was Charles Jacqueau, who began working at Cartier in 1909 at the age of 24. Drawing inspiration from the Ballet Russes and the Gazette du bon ton, he championed the new aesthetic of bold colors and design that came to be known as Art Deco.
Jacqueau frequently visited the Louvre where he sketched objects as well as motifs that he often reinterpreted into a part of a jewel. The diamond-set rectangular links with onyx accents on this bracelet may have been inspired by a motif from an Islamic vase or, perhaps, a frieze. Jacqueau was also aware of how a piece should be worn. He did not like heavy jewelry. According to Hans Nadelhoffer in Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary, “What distinguished Jacqueau’s geometric Art Deco forms from those of his rivals was the impression they gave of floating on air . . . Jacqueau’s geometric forms remained within a framework of dainty lightness. His instructions repeatedly advised, ‘surtout très léger (above all very light).’”
This bracelet was made in 1924, a year before the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes where Cartier exhibited a selection of 150 pieces. The prevailing color for their bracelets was a black and white contrast of diamond and onyx. The style and color palette of this bracelet is compatible with those included in the exposition. This bracelet is a superb and wearable example of Cartier’s Art Deco style.