Estimate: HK$3,000,000 - HK$5,000,000
ca. US$386,418 - US$644,030
Price realised: n. a.
Cartier Ref. 723207
Manufacturer: Cartier Year: 1997 Reference No: 723207 Case No: No. 1/1 Material: 18k white gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds Calibre: Quartz Bracelet/Strap: 18k white gold, diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald-set Cartier bracelet Clasp/Buckle: 18k white gold and diamond-set Cartier concealed folding clasp Dimensions: 14 mm. width Signed: Case, dial and movement signed Accessories: With Cartier Certificate dated 25 February 1998 confirming the present watch is numbered 01/1, International Guarantee Certificate dated 25 February 1998 and fitted presentation box. Catalogue Essay Property From an Important Collector The late 1920s was a time of economic expansion and wide spread growth in the arts, literature, architecture and design. With the crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, a sense of uncertainty filled the vacuum created by the economic downturn. As a result, luxury jewelry houses and watch manufactures tried to encourage spending by introducing exquisitely decorated objects such as the tutti-frutti design. As women sought to expand their social and economic freedom gained during the war years, a hunger for novelty, luxury and frivolity became widespread. There became a fascination with Egypt and India, which was stimulated by accounts of artists and travellers visiting these regions. The tutti-frutti bracelet watch consists of a mixture of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds that give so much color, and are often set as undulating vines with craft-gem leaves, flowers and fruits. Cartier’s expertise in ‘Tutti Frutti’ jewels began in 1901 when Queen Alexandra commissioned Pierre Cartier to create a necklace inspired by the magnificent jewels of Southern Asia. Ten years later, Jacque Cartier embarked on a voyage to India that would alter the course of jewelry in the Western world. There, Cartier sought the traditional expertise of master craftsmen in carving rubies, sapphires and emeralds into leaf designs and cabochon berry shapes. Gemstones, especially emeralds, are notoriously difficult to carve due to their delicate nature. Such techniques had not been used in Europe before, and Cartier incorporated them into their repertoire. While the term ‘Tutti Frutti’ was only coined in the 1970s, Mughal-inspired designs from the 1930s onwards were an instant hit in Europe and the Americas, beloved by socialites and the elite. Among famous clientele was Daisy Fellowes, the Singer machine heiress who particularly loved 'Tutti Frutti' style of jewelry. A particularly stunning and historically important piece she commissioned is the ‘Hindou’ necklace that Cartier created in 1936. The necklace is composed of graduating layers of carved rubies, sapphires, emeralds and cabriolet sapphires on the fringe of the necklace. Later sold at auction in 1991, the necklace achieved the highest price for any Cartier jewel offered at the time. Indeed, it was Cartier who bought the necklace back for $2,655,172 USD. Cartier's fascination with Indian jewels was not merely one-sided. The Maharajas and Maharanis were also enamored by the East-meets-West style, and commissioned Cartier to create 'Tutti Frutti' necklace sets, sautoirs, pins and other pieces for their vast collections. Cartier is very proud of its illustrious history, and from time to time, will dig into its archives for inspiration. The 150th anniversary was such an occasion. The present watch is a modern day interpretation of the iconic ‘Tutti Frutti’ design. Set with carved rubies, emeralds, sapphires and brilliant diamonds, the bracelet is also studded with cabochon rubies that appear as berries on a winding stem. This design pays homage to the historically important pieces within the jeweler’s archive. The bracelet watch also features a unique concealed dial, set with baguette diamonds, tallow-cut ruby and emerald cabochons which provide an Art Deco aesthetic. Underneath lies a mother-of-pearl dial. This unique piece was specially designed for Cartier’s
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