Cartier recently unveiled new creations within its Panthèrep Cartier collection earlier this year, which comprises a La Panthère bracelet in yellow gold, onyx, emeralds and brilliant-cut diamonds, at a continuation of the design signature that’s been connected with the maison because 1914.
Comprising 11 rings, six bracelets and a single brooch, the new pieces feature a refreshed interpretation of the iconic feline, a fresh layout that’s a thinner version of the recent Panthère de Cartier designs but sports the same”fur” setting on the diamond pieces.
The incoming bits indicate an inflection point from those that have come earlier, leading them to be clarified as”the contemporary feline expression of a free, elegant and sensual femininity.” This provides the selection to 59 items, composed of jewelry, watches, accessories and perfumes.
The collection’s sleek, contemporary interpretation of the panther may belie the fact that it has been more than a century since the feline entered the lexicon of Cartier, at a time when large cats were a popular theme among musicians, by Fran?ois Pompon to Rembrandt Bugatti into Paul Jouve.
The panther made its introduction in the Cartier world in 1914 via a jewellery exhibition invitation card”Dame à la panthère,” commissioned from artist George Barbier; the same season, Cartier Paris created a women’s watches in platinum and pink gold, decorated with a spotted pattern of diamonds and irregularly shaped onyx pieces.
“The Woman with the Panther”, stencil by George Barbier for the invitation card into Cartier’s”display of a exceptional collection of pearls and jewelry of ancient decadence”, 1914 (print copy). Source: diktats.com
Cartier designer Charles Jacqeau was one of the first from the maison to work with the panther coat motif. Afterward, the feline has been recreated in two-dimensional profile to adorn the cover of vanity cases that Cartier crafted between 1925 and 1930.
Cartier wristwatch with panther place topics from 1914
Since then, highlights from Cartier bearing the panther logo have displayed its slick, majestic type perched insouciantly in brooches; its own seen fur recreated with pavé diamonds, onyx, sapphire and lacquer on bracelets and bracelets; and its shiny eyes and imposing mien peering carefully from rings and watches.
One person who may be credited with only cementing the panther’s standing in the iconography of Cartier is Jeanne Toussaint, who joined the maison in the late 1910s and served as creative director of Cartier’s jewelry department from 1933 to 1970. Fond of bold exotic and prints inspirations — crimson Tatar boots and Oriental silk clothing were a part of her wardrobe — Toussaint had style in spades and owned a taste for the unconventional, such as pairing yellow gold with vibrantly colored diamonds. Toussaint’s own nickname,”La Panthère,” was earned through needing to assert herself as an authority in Cartier (a challenge considering women in France could not vote till 1945) and her own personal fondness for its feline, whose kind embellished a number of the jewellery, vanity cases and boxes she possessed.
But her admiration for the large cat moved beyond the beauty of its jacket; she admired it as a sign of energy and daring liberty, which was particularly pertinent at a time when she probably sensed that society was on the cusp of a new era of modernity, femininity and liberty of expression.
In 1948, as a portion of a gold and black enamel brooch fashioned with a 116-ct emerald cabochon meant for the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, Toussaint rendered the three-dimensional panther in its entirety, a first for Cartier. The next year, the duchess acquired another Cartier brooch featuring a three-dimensional panther, now made from platinum, white gold, diamonds, sapphire cabochons stains, and one 152.35-ct Kashmir sapphire cabochon.
The panther motif was soon embraced by modern style icons, such as Mexican actress María Félix, French socialite Daisy Fellowes, and Princess Nina Aga Khan.
In the 2013 tome”Cartier Style and History,” Hubert de Givenchy called Toussaint’s style”own, very special, quite Cartier” and her creations”universally admired because they’re lively, daring and extremely elegant.” “She revolutionized luxury jewelry by rejuvenating and modernizing it, much in the manner of a great painter, not only playing very beautiful precious stones but also displaying amazing innovation in her creations,” he added.
One key characteristic integral to Cartier’s lifelike panther logo is the maison’s very own”fur” setting technique, which recreates the appearance of the panther’s fur through gemstones, for example onyx and sapphire for the areas: Every stone is cut to measure, then sorted and set into a lattice, using nice metal threads folded toward each stone to hold it in place.
Bringing the panther to life also involves paying extreme attention to detail, to accomplish a faithful representation of each of its features and provoke its majesty and poise. Back in 1927, Cartier designer Peter Lemarchand spent extended periods observing the panthers in the Vincennes Zoo as research for fashioning realistic variations from valuable materials, and the well-worn replica of Mathurin Méheut’s”études d’animaux” in the Cartier library for designers revealed that the characters of panthers were referenced and intently studied by the maison’s inventive masters.
Though its personality and expression have evolved over the decades — from fearsome in the 1950s to playful from the 1960s to faceted and futuristic in the 21st century — that the panther theme remains a vital signature of the maison.
“For over 100 years, no other creature has achieved such legendary status, whether Cartier or in 20th-century jewelry as a whole,” says Cartier Heritage Director Mr. Pierre Rainero. “No other monster or stone is so indissolubly and emotionally related to the stylish women of the 20th century, the 20th-century female perfect, or the Cartier legend.”