January 2010 Archives

Cartier in America, Part 2

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Here is more of the jewelry from the Cartier in America exhibit previously referenced, twice

First the "Tutti Frutti" Necklace from 1936, altered in 1963

The piece is platinum and white gold, set with  marquise, baguette, and round old-cut diamonds, thirteen briolette-cut sapphires weighing 146.9 carat in total, two leaf-shaped carved sapphires, 50.8 and 42.45 carats, sapphire beads, one sapphire cabochon, square carved emeralds, fluted and smooth emerald beads, and emerald cabochons.  It is 43cm in length. (Photo by Nick Welsh, Copyright Cartier Collection)

It was commissioned by Daisy Fellowes,  the Paris editor for Harper's Bazaar in the 1930s, and ocassionally hailed her as "the world's most elegant woman."   She was the daughter of the Duke Decazes and Isabelle Singer (of the sewing machine fortune).  Below is a picture of her wearing this piece
(Photo by Cecil Beaton. Courtesy of Sotheby')

Also on display are two pieces given by Prince Ranier to Grace Kelly, including her engagement ring, a 10.47 ct emerald-cut central stone flanked with 2 baguette-cut stones, set in platinum.
Also a Riviere necklace, of diamonds set in platinum from 1953

Here the Princess is shown in a formal portrait in 1959 wearing both pieces
(The three preceeding pictures are from the Palais Princier de Monaco)

Also a still from her last film appearence, High Society, shows the then engaged Kelly wearing the ring (Photo by Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos, via)

Finally a large shoulder broach, made for Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1923.  It is platinum, set with diamonds and seven large Indian emeralds, including one dating back to the Mughal Empire
(Picture via)

Cartier Clocks in America

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From the previously referenced Cartier in America exhibit come these four clocks.  Cartier's desk clocks were a celebrated example of the style, which was quite popular throughout the early and middle of the 20th century.

First a Portique Mystery Clock, where there is no apparent connection between the hands and the movement.  This one is in Platinum, gold, rock crystal, diamonds, coral, onyx and black enamel and dates to 1923. 

(Photo by Nick Welsh, Copyright Cartier Collection)

Second is a more classical guiloche enamel minute repeating desk cubic clock from 1908, in , silver, gold, agate, moonstone, diamonds, platinum, clockwork, and glass.  The dial has, for hour indications, the words "Bons Souhaits", roughly meaning "Good Wishes"
(Photo by Joe McDonald, Copyright Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

Inspired by the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922, the Neo-Egyptian style was in full bloom by the time this striking clock was made in 1927, from gold, silver-gilt, lapis lazuli (base and top), mother of pearl plaques carves with hieroglyphs, carved coral rings and rods.  The kneeling winged Egyptian deity at the top is set with emeralds and  carnelians, and enameled.

(Photo by Nick Welsh, Copyright Cartier Collection)

Finally a more historical, if less attractive clock.  It was given to FDR personally by Pierre Cartier in 1938 and has, in addition to the main dial, four sub-dials, displaying the time in London/Paris, Rome/Berlin, San Fransisco and Tokyo.  Made of silver, onyx and nephrite, it has an eight-day movement signed European Watch and Clock Co, a name frequently used by Cartier when importing clocks and watches to the US.   
(Photo courtesy of Sotheby's, where the clock was sold in December, 2007 for a record $1,609,000)
(All photos via)


WWII Bombers

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Two photos of WWII Bombers under construction.  First a field of nose domes being polished
1943( via)
B-24 Bombers mid-assembly, April 1943
(From Shorpy)


Cartier in America, Part 1

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Coming to the Legion of Honor museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Fransisco is what promises to be quite an impressive collection of Cartier's work.  It focuses on work from the early 1920s through the 1970s, with many pieces coming from their collection, housed in Geneva. 
The following pictures are mostly from 7x7 Blog:

1949 Cartier broach in the form of a panther claspin a star sapphire.  (Photo courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Fransisco)

1951 Cartier ruby and diamond necklace (photo by John Bigelow Taylor)
The above necklace pictured on it's first owner, Liz Taylor.  It was a gift from her husband, in 1958, Mike Todd (photo copyright Photofest)

A platinum necklace set with round and rose cut diamonds and centers on a 143.23 Ct polished emerald.  (Photo by Nick Welsh for the Cartier Collection)

A Crocodile necklace from the 1970s.  It is gold, set with 1,023 brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds weighing 60.02 carats in total, two navette-shaped emerald cabochons, 1,060 emeralds weighing 66.86 carats in total, and two ruby cabochons.  The necklace was owned by the famous Mexican Actress La Doña Maria Félix(Photo by Nick Welsh for the Cartier Collection)
The necklace can be separated into 2 large crocodilian broaches
(Photo from flickr)
And here is the necklace in situ
( Photo by Lord Snowdon. Courtesy of Vogue US)
A platinum, 18-carat and 20-carat gold bib-shaped necklace from 1947.  It is set with a heart-shaped faceted amethyst, twenty-seven emerald-cut amethysts, an oval faceted amethyst, turquoise cabochons and baguette-cut diamonds. (Photo by Nick Welsh for the Cartier Collection)

And a preliminary sketch of the above bib necklace, also from the Cartier Collection

There are several more pieces that will be coming soon.


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From the boston.com 2009 Year in Photos series comes this shot:
A Palestinian demonstrator uses a tennis racket to return an empty tear gas canister at Israeli soldiers during a protest against the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah October 23, 2009. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)


Personally I think Dunlop tennis rackets should use it as a promotional, but that's just me

Kool-Aid Man, Origins

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From the stained glass in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Troyes, France comes this stained-glass window, which broadly tells the story of Job*
Job Window.jpg
In the trefoil at the top of the middle window there is a piece of heraldry, perhaps the arms of the donor of the window.  It is quite plainly the Kool-Aid Man, about to pour a cold glass of himself.
Job Window closeup.jpg

* The story of Job was in the news recently in reference to Pat Robertson's inane comments, since the only biblical character to make his "Deal with the Devil" was God, in reference to Job.

HD3 Black Pearl

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(Or "Not every hit can be a home run")
From the unorthodox yet fertile minds of Jorg Hysek, Fabrice Gonet* and Valerie Ursenbacher comes another watch under the brand HD3, the Black Pearl.  Clearly trying to capture all the momentum still left seven years after the release of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this massive watch is as pirated-up as possible without including an eyepatch or a parrot.  It has a skull-and-crossbones on one side, a death's head in the compass on the back and a crown said to resemble a ships wheel. 

The movement, which appears to have been realized by BNB, has a double-axis Tourbillon and an 80-hour power reserve.  Telling the time is a bit of a challenge, with the hours represented on the left (conventional 9 o'clock) digitally and the minutes at the top with what seems reminiscent of a ships telegraph from the 19th century.  There is also a power-reserve display at about 10:30 in the vague form of a sextant.  The movement is identical to that in the Vulkania released in 2008.

*Fabrice previously designed a piece for the HD3 brand that had a quartz watch under a tourbillon as a way to get a big date and second timezone without any of that pesky watchmaking.

The following pictures are from the HD3 website.

First, the promotional picture in what has become almost a required pose, front and back digitally composited together.

Face and crown

Back and 9 o'clock side

Closeup of the Tourbillon carriages and the dial pieces

Closeup of the engraving on the sapphire back

And finally the crown, in all its glory

ps. If you have to ask, it has a retail price of approx $400,000

A Name for the Thing

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A mysterious tool from Le Maison d'Outil in Troyes, France (previously referenced) has been identified as an antique hoof trimming plane.

Here are a few in a case of farriers' tools
Hoof Trimming Chisels.jpg

And a closeup of the tool in question
Hoof Trimming Chisel.jpg

And finally a closeup of just the decoration on the handle
Hoof trimming Chisel Handle.jpg

Philippe Tournaire

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Another of the many jewelers with boutiques in the Place Vendome, Philippe Tournaire hides his shop in a small covered walkway near the JLC and Omega boutiques.  He tends towards the bezel set stone, with a wide face, and architectural pieces, specifically rings.  First from the bezel-set genre, a yellow gold ring set with diamonds and either rubies or tourmaline
Tournaire Bezel set multi-stone ring.jpg
Sadly the depth-of-focus and the macro angle worked against a clear shot of that piece from his showcase.  The next piece, a platinum ring from the Architecture collection called New York, had a similar problem.
Tournaire Building.jpg
I was able to find a picture of that same piece, in 18k yellow gold, on his site. tournaire new york.jpg

Hunting for that picture led me to one of his more recent pieces, Paris on a ring.  First from above:
One can see Notre Dame, Place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and finally, at the far right, the Grande Arche de la Defence.  In the side view below...
One can see that the shank takes the form of the Eiffel tower.  This style of multi-finger ring is often tried, but seldom with such artistry and success...

The first store on your left as you walk into the Place Vendome is that of Gianmaria Buccelatti, one of the top names in contemporary Italian jewelry.  They veer more towards classical styling, frequently using unusually shaped pearls as the central element, a technique popular in the late Renaissance. 
Several pieces in that style follow:
Pearl Butterfly

Third in the formed pearls is this piece, using irregular ovoid pearls as grapes
pearl grapes
All these pictures, and more, are mine.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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