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Art Deco Aquamarine & Diamond Bracelet and Ear Clips by Cartier, London, c 1935

$485,000per set


A demi-parure of a bracelet and ear clips, the bracelet composed of a series of oval, rectangular, and baguette-cut aquamarine segments joined by pave-set diamond-set links, the ear clips each composed as a swirl of oval aquamarines spaced with round diamonds ending with a square aquamarine; mounted in platinum, bracelet accompanied by original red leather Cartier box • Bracelet: 77 aquamarines, 96 diamonds • Ear clips: 22 aquamarines, 26 diamonds • Bracelet signed Cartier London 1613, ear clips signed Cartier London 7582 • Bracelet: 7 ¼ x 1 inches, ear clips each: 1 x 1 inch Favored by the Greeks and Romans for portraits, the luminous pale-blue stone aquamarine has long been used in jewelry design. High quality aquamarine is difficult to find, and when assembled into a piece of jewelry each stone must be cut to a similar size so that the color is equally intense. While aquamarine was a popular colored stone in the 1930s, the difficulty in matching stones meant that high jewelry houses made few pieces and they rarely come on the market today. Cartier, a leader of the Art Deco aesthetic, incorporated this pale blue stone in several of their designs and made the majority of these jewels in their London office after 1932 for clients from Europe and the United States. They mention the difficulty of sourcing perfectly matched gemstones in letters from London to New York writing, “We have . . . a number of partly completed necklaces, which we were unable to finish owing to the lack of the necessary aquamarines.” One of the most fascinating commissions came from Elsie de Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, a prominent New York social figure and successful decorator. She once posed for photographers who remarked, “Her hair was tinted aquamarine to match her latest acquisition, a curling spiral tiara of diamonds and aquamarines that she had commissioned from Cartier, her favorite jeweler.” In 1935 Lady Mendl, at the age of 70, was selected as the best-dressed woman in the world by Parisian designers and was known for how she wore her clothing and accessories. Created in the same era, this bracelet and clips features a striking and intricate pattern of aquamarines and diamonds. Cartier designers cleverly maneuvered around the need for similarly sized stones by utilizing a variety of cuts then juxtaposing the different geometric shapes for visual interest. Small diamonds scattered throughout sparkle when worn. Responding to the new sleek fashions of the 1930s, Cartier’s aquamarine jewels were in high demand by clients globally and they provided the stone in various forms including clips, tiaras, necklace, and bracelets. In 1936 Vogue featured Cartier bracelets writing, “Aquamarines—limpid, glacial as the waters of a Northern lake—to play against a dress of white satin or the palest mauve mousseline.” This rare suite of a bracelet and ear clips is an unusual example of their skill with aquamarines in the Art Deco era and would be just as beautiful worn today as when it was first created.


  • Creator
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stone Cut
  • Weight
    65.9 g
  • Dimensions
    Width: 1 in. (25.4 mm)Length: 7.25 in. (184.15 mm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: F13081stDibs: LU2075210688192

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    Free Shipping: Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 1-3 weeks, excluding production time.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Designer


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 reportedly 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.On 1stDibs, find a growing collection of contemporary and vintage Cartier watches, engagement rings, necklaces and other accessories.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY

Siegelson is a world-renowned gallery offering rare collectible jewels. Third-generation gem and jewelry dealer Lee Siegelson has been credited with bridging the gap between art and jewelry design, in the process transforming estate jewelry into a vibrant part of the luxury goods and collectibles world. Focusing on a piece’s design rat...

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Established in 1920
1stDibs seller since 2020
6 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 9 hours
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