At the recently-finished Paris Biennale des Antiquaires, the French House of Cartier has become a key figure. Firstly, the brand was located in the most central and largest booth of the Grand Palais. Wherever the exhibition’s visitors would go, they all came to Cartier in the end. Secondly, the presented “The Royal” collection demonstrated an impressive selection of precious stones. To combine so many rare minerals in one assemblage is not an easy task.
The Royal pearl
The main piece of the unique gemological collection was a natural pearl from the treasure of the British monarchy. The Royal pearl can safely claim to be the main competitor of the La Peregrina Pearl, which was a part of the collection of the Spanish monarchy, Mary Tudor, Napoleon III and Elizabeth Taylor. All thanks to its impressive weight of 166.18 grain (8.3 grams), its magnificent size (21.82mm x 17.6 mm x 16.4 mm), and its ideal symmetrical teardrop form.
This exceptional beauty of the relic is supplemented by its rich history. Firstly it belonged to Queen Mary, the wife of King George V After, her daughter the Princess Mary and grandson of George Lascelles, 8th Earl of Harewood followed. He then gave The Royal Pearl to his second wife, Patricia “Bambi” Tuckwell, on the occasion of their marriage. Patricia was the last member of the royal family to own it…
Cartier kept the original setting of the pearl and made it a part of a tiara. The piece may be transformed into a necklace, as well as used as a pendant. Thanks to an innovative mechanism, it doesn’t require the help of a jeweler to make the transformation.
Four Kings of Cartier
Among other extraordinary pieces of The Royal are four kings. The first one is the transformable Reine Makéda necklace with 15.29 cts of a bloody-red African ruby. Another one is a Viracocha necklace with 26.60 cts of Colombian emerald. One more king is a Cornflower ring with 29.06 cts of blue Kashmir sapphire. Lastly, there’s a transformable Pure Absolu masterpiece with an exceptional 30.21 ct pear-cut diamond. It was inspired by the legendary necklace, made in 1970, and commissioned by the Taylor-Burton couple. As the historic piece, the diamond at Pure Absolu can easily be “transplanted” from the necklace to the ring to satisfy even the most demanding queen.
A century of the “Big Cat”
This year the “big cat” of the House celebrates a century. On this occasion at least the third part of “The Royal” collection is dedicated to La Panthère motif. In one necklace, a graceful predator sneaks on emeralds and sapphires, recalling the “Tutti Frutti” style. In the other one, it is made in agate with a Venetian mosaic technique, adorned with a 35.8 ct sapphire. Meanwhile a bracelet with an oval, large aquamarine has two cats which are placed opposite each other. According to the idea of the designers, these are the Prince Aga Khan and his wife drinking water from the lake of love.