1990s Pendant Necklaces
Diamond, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold, Enamel
Vintage 1980s Beaded Necklaces
1990s Modern More Necklaces
Chalcedony, Diamond, Hematite, Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold
1990s Contemporary Multi-Strand Necklaces
Chrysophrase, Diamond, Pearl, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold
1990s Chain Necklaces
18k Gold, Yellow Gold
1990s Artist Drop Necklaces
Chalcedony, Cultured Pearl, Diamond, Sapphire, 18k Gold
1990s Modern Pendant Necklaces
Diamond, Emerald, Onyx, 18k Gold
21st Century and Contemporary Drop Necklaces
Diamond, Emerald, Onyx, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold
Vintage 1970s Multi-Strand Necklaces
Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Gold
20th Century Modern Pendant Necklaces
Early 20th Century Art Deco More Necklaces
Diamond, Emerald, Natural Pearl, Platinum
21st Century and Contemporary More Necklaces
Diamond, Lapis Lazuli, Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold
21st Century and Contemporary Pendant Necklaces
Diamond, Emerald, Onyx, Yellow Gold
Vintage 1960s Chain Necklaces
Gold, 18k Gold
2010s Modern Pendant Necklaces
Vintage 1980s Drop Necklaces
Gold, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold
Cartier Sautoir For Sale on 1stDibs
How Much is a Cartier Sautoir?
Cartier Biography and Important Works
Perhaps 1847 was not the ideal time to open a new watchmaking and jewelry business, as the French Revolution was not kind to the aristocracy who could afford such luxuries. Nevertheless, it was the year Louis-François Cartier (1819–1904) — who was born into poverty — founded his eponymous empire, assuming control of the workshop of watchmaker Adolphe Picard, under whom he had previously been employed as an assistant. Of course, in the beginning, it was a relatively modest affair, but by the late 1850s, Cartier had its first royal client, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon Bonaparte, who commissioned the jeweler to design brooches, earrings and other accessories.
Under the leadership of Louis-François’s son, Alfred, who took over in 1874, business boomed. Royalty around the world wore Cartier pieces, including Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Maharaja of Patiala and King Edward VII, who had 27 tiaras made by the jewelry house for his coronation in 1902 and issued Cartier a royal warrant in 1904. (Today, the British royal family still dons Cartier pieces; Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, regularly sports a Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch.)
Cartier’s golden years, however, began when Alfred introduced his three sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, to the business. The brothers expanded Cartier globally: Louis reigned in Paris, Pierre in New York and Jacques in London, ensuring their brand’s consistency at their branches across the world. The trio also brought in such talents as Charles Jacqueau and Jeanne Toussaint.
One of Cartier’s earliest major successes was the Santos de Cartier watch — one of the world's first modern wristwatches for men. (Previously, a large number of people were using only pocket watches.) Louis designed the timepiece in 1904 for his friend, popular Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who wanted to be able to check the time more easily while flying.
Cartier’s other famous timepieces include the Tank watch, which was inspired by the linear form of military tanks during World War I, and the so-called mystery clocks. Invented by watchmaker and magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin and later crafted exclusively for Cartier in the house’s workshop by watchmaker Maurice Couët, the mystery clocks were so named because the integration of glass dials on which the clocks’ hands would seemingly float as well as structures that are hidden away within the base give the illusion that they operate without machinery.
On the jewelry side of the business, Cartier’s internationally renowned offerings include the Tutti Frutti collection, which featured colorful carved gemstones inspired by Jacques’s trip to India and grew in popularity during the Art Deco years; the panthère motif, which has been incorporated into everything from brooches to rings; and the Love bracelet, a minimal, modernist locking bangle inspired by medieval chastity belts.
While the Cartier family sold the business following the death of Pierre in 1964, the brand continues to innovate today, renewing old hits and creating new masterpieces. It’s certainly one of the most well known and internationally revered jewelers in the world among clients both existing and aspirational.
Cartier Biography and Important Works
Finding the Right Necklaces for You
We are fortunate to know much of the world’s long and dazzling history of necklaces, as this type of jewelry was so treasured that it was frequently buried with its owners.
Lapis lazuli beads adorned necklaces unearthed from the royal graves at the ancient Iraqi civilization of Sumer, while the excavation of King Tut’s burial chamber revealed a sense of style that led to a frenzy of Art Deco designs, with artisans of the 1920s seeking to emulate the elegant work crafted by Ancient Egypt’s goldsmiths and jewelry makers.
In ancient times, pendant necklaces worn by royalty and nobles conferred wealth and prestige. Today, wearing jewelry is about personal expression: Luxury diamond necklaces exude confidence and can symbolize the celebratory nature of a deep romantic relationship, while paper-clip chain-link necklaces designed by the likes of goldsmith Faye Kim are firmly planted in the past as well as the present. Kim works exclusively with eco-friendly gold, and these fashionable, fun accessories owe to the design of 19th-century watch fobs.
For some, necklaces are thought of as being a solely feminine piece, but this widely loved accessory has been gender-neutral for eons. In fact, just as women rarely took to wearing a single necklace during the Renaissance, men of the era layered chains and valuable pendants atop their bejeweled clothing. In modern times, the free-spirited hippie and counterculture movements of the 1960s saw costume-jewelry designers celebrating self-expression through colorful multistrand necklaces and no shortage of beads, which were worn by anyone and everyone.
Even after all of these years, the necklace remains an irrefutable staple of any complete outfit. Although new trends in jewelry are constantly emerging, the glamour and beauty of the past continue to inform modern styles and designs. In a way, the cyclical history of the necklace differs little from its familiar looped form: The celebrated French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels found much inspiration in King Tut, and, now, their Alhambra collection is a go-to for modern royals. Vintage necklaces designed by David Webb — whose work landed him on the cover of Vogue in 1950, two years after opening his Manhattan shop — were likely inspired by the ornamental styles of ancient Greece, Mesopotamia and Egypt.