The Cartier Legacy
For a brand that is 200-years-old, Cartier, the French luxury goods conglomerate continues to make jewellery that’s distinctly imaginative, sometimes edgy and prominently stunning. Its recently launched Cactus de Cartier jewellery collection recreates the beauty of the succulent yet untouchable desert rose – cactus. Keeping alive the bold aesthetics of Jeanne Toussaint – the woman who transformed the brand with her trademark diamond and onyx panther bracelet – the Cactus de Cartier collection is spurred from the wild west charms of the cactus in full bloom!
Apart from the famous panther bracelet, it was under Jeanne that Cartier produced other figurative work such as American Indian-head brooches and a series of bejewelled ladybugs. She was deeply inspired by nature, which also resulted in Cartier unveiling another exquisite collection of whimsical birds. The most popular being the caged bird that Cartier introduced in 1940, as a badge of dissent against occupation by the Nazis. Once Paris was liberated, another version of the caged bird was displayed in Cartier’s show windows that featured the bird – now ready to fly away.
Founded in 1847, MaisonCartier is one of the world’s most esteemed houses of fine jewellery, wristwatches and prestige goods. Its fondness for flora and fauna has always been an integral part of its legendary brilliance. Like most artists, the jewellers at Cartier have found an inexhaustible source of inspiration in nature by intricately detailing a beautiful orchid or portraying the graceful movement of a jaguar in stone.
Prickly And Posh
The latest Cactus de Cartier jewellery collection envisions the brambly plant as mini bejewelled pieces of art. Using the familiar bumpy texture and bulbous shape of cactus as the blueprint for its designs, Cartier has used yellow and white gold, emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds, carnelians and lapis lazuli in this pretty and poky collection.
Its rings, cuffs and earrings in furrowed cylindrical shape finished with a cluster of berries on top, are bound to remind you of Ferocactus, a large barrel-shaped species of cacti with small flowers. The skilled Cartier craftsmen have transformed the barrel shape into a pair of gold globes, with a thistly diamond flower resting on top to adorn either side of the finger as a chunky cocktail ring. Other versions of the barrel shape have been created in yellow gold, stretched out to make a glimmering yellow gold cuff, with cerulean blue lapis lazuli and diamond flowers.
Gems On The Plant
There’s also a masterful use of chrysoprase in the collection – a brilliant green variety of chalcedony, paired charmingly with vibrant red carnelians. A splendid cuff of chrysoprase beads secured with gold pins topped with emerald, strewn on a yellow gold base with carnelian and diamond flowers is an inevitable showstopper.
Another magnificent piece in the Cactus de Cartier range is the collar necklace made with yellow-gold beads. Lovely diamond blossoms and tiny emerald beads are sprinkled all over in what seems likea classic design. But a closer look, reveals – it is as prickly and tastefully quirky – like the other pieces in this stunning collection.
Bold and assertive in appearance yet delicate in texture, each piece is a bedazzled proofof the unparalleledskill of the Cartier craftsmen. The collection pays tribute to the modern woman – strong and independent, beautiful yet untouchable – characteristics that are similar to the cactus plant.
Gracefully drawing inspiration from the multifarious aspects of femininity – like a woman’s ability to survive and thrive in inhospitable environments, Cartier’s Cactuses are bold and beautiful – all at the same time. After all, every rose has a thorn!