“Tubogas” Choker Necklace by Cartier, circa 1970
A flexible necklace of graduated “Tubogas “gas pipe” construction, accented with 7 lines of diamonds at the front spaced with polished gold segments; in steel and 18-karat yellow gold, with assay marks
- Signed Cartier, with maker’s mark
- Measurements: 16 ¾ x 1 inches
- 144.2 grams
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.
In the late 1930s and 1940s as World War II gripped the world, artists and jewelers—still compelled to create—looked for new ways of making to express the seriousness of world events. They turned away from flamboyant, colorful, or gem-encrusted pieces in favor of sleek, stripped-down designs inspired by the modern world. A new style of chain emerged in this period that was instantly favored by the finest jewelry houses including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bulgari.
The Tubogas takes its design from a machine part, the flexible gas hose, and is created by overlapping bands of gold to create a supple and wonderful piece that is beautiful and easy to wear. The rounded contours of the bands interlock to completely conceal the inner steel structure and to create a sense of flexibility that gives a wonderful custom fit to each wearer. Entirely handmade, the Tubogas requires great skill and attention to detail as it is assembled to fit together perfectly, without solder.
The slinky design of the Tubogas appealed to jewelry designers in the 1970s looking for the ideal jewel to adorn the long flowing maxi dresses and fitted suits of the era. The bright, and exaggerated clothing needed bold jewels with high design. This flexible Tubogas necklace by Cartier is a rare and important example, featuring an unusual, graduated bib design accented with diamonds. This iconic Cartier Tubogas would be an important and wearable addition to any collection.