Cartier has always been passionate about nature: a jeweller’s nature, which is at once true to the original yet transformed, subjective and exalted. Cartier’s nature, quite naturally…
The Cartier jeweller borrows colour, substance and brilliance from the rarest of gemstones, penetrating the heart of an imaginary nature and creating the unique vocabulary that has come to represent the jeweller’s very own signature…
Animals take pride of place at Cartier, enlivened by fresh, new interpretations that exalt precious materials. To bring this nature to life, the jeweller – an extraordinary craftsman – channels his expert knowledge in precious stones, volumes and shapes into enhancing the beauty of every creation.
Nature has been present at Cartier since its very origins, with lily flowers, morning glory and other budding plants adorning the craftsmen’s workbenches from very early on. Then, in the early 20th century, the panther theme made its first appearance. Birds also have their place at Cartier: colourful aviaries of small and large winged creatures provide a source of joyous enchantment, while improvised birdsong pours out from a menagerie opening onto an endless sky.
Flowers on the jeweller’s workbench
Cartier planted its secret garden at a very early stage. This scented bouquet is a profusion of colours and materials that the jeweller arranges to perfection. It is a bed of precious creations that celebrate every aspect of the flower, a bloom that is as close to reality as possible, yet magically distanced from it. It bears witness to Cartier's constant fascination for the natural, and its transformation into precious jewellery. Inspiration takes hold at Cartier and yields a surprising and varied harvest. These astonishing pieces and truly dazzling creations shun classic representations of the flower, preferring instead to capture it in a masterful demonstration of naturalism.
The panther as a symbol of triumphant femininity
The panther is omnipresent, be it in shape or spirit. By playing on the contrast between onyx and diamonds, the jeweller creates perfect allusions to this fascinating animal. It can be seen in all positions: crouching, standing, reclining or leaping, tamed and yet still wild. This is also a tale, told in jewellery, about a craftsman with a passion for his era, who had exceptional sensitivity and a rare ability to sense and interpret the ethereal spirit of an age.
This is how the figurative panther, the most feminine of felines, came into being. Represented flat on a vanity case in as early as 1914, its silhouette traced in onyx and diamonds provided a taste of things to come. The sculptured panther arrived next, with volume conveying the streamlined limbs, restrained energy and refined elegance of a creature larger than life. The stylised panther followed, more suggestive than expressive, inaugurating a new style. Then came a more realistic depiction, powerful and wild as never before. And in one of its more recent appearances, the panther was an endearing, docile, gentle, calm and serene creature.
A testimony to the continuity of Cartier’s vision and style, this common thread running from flora to fauna, dream to reality, winds its way between creations like a path or an invitation to love…
Cartier harmoniously blends the mineral with the animal...
Animals have their own language and Cartier knows better than anyone how to use animal metaphors when speaking of love, war and peace.
A zoological garden in its own right, Cartier’s history is inhabited by both domestic and wild animals alike. It is a colourful menagerie reminiscent of a curiosity shop, where owls mix with eagles, penguins with pigs, and giraffes with herons. They lend their appearance – at times regal, at times comical, wild or docile – to the expert hands of Cartier, who interprets them with striking realism.
Cartier confirms its infatuation with the animal kingdom. Marvellous, inspired meanderings allow the sudden appearance of fantasy animals on refined objects: a watchful crocodile encounters a cigarette case, an owl is transformed into a handbag clasp, and the red dot of a ladybird daintily decorates a lighter.
Cartier has caught the world in flight, a world where mineral and animal blend in contemporaneous harmony, where gemstones, gold and platinum evoke the crystalline, opaque, glossy or matt colours of the natural environment. An owl with a citrine body (a hard stone in an autumnal yellow shade), a grey +platinum rhinoceros, a carved golden eagle and, in a more contemporary collection, a platinum giraffe encrusted with diamonds and onyx are perfect illustrations of this feat. Earth, water and air continue to captivate Cartier, who bathes in the wake of fish, follows in the footsteps of turtles and flies in the flurry of parrot feathers, with the insatiable curiosity of an author who has a fond and original jewelled tale to tell.
A dream of nature, the nature of a dream: Cartier captivates with its sumptuously beautiful, thrilling and wild pieces of jewellery.
Magical landscapes are inhabited by dazzling animals and flowers, where the rarest of substances are used to evoke fur, flowers, feathers, pistils and twinkling eyes. Precious tales in which a new kind of poetry is written, from one creation to another.
It is a magical menagerie and a conservatory of light, suddenly soothed by the regal song of a bird in rubies or sapphires, or by the exhilarating scent of an orchid whose heart lulls in the depths of white diamonds…
And if the leaves begin to rustle like thunder, it means a princely, playful panther is moving slowly forwards…