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Cartier Paris circa 1925 Art Deco Black Onyx Diamond Topiary Jabot Brooch



A brooch designed as a potted topiary set throughout with European-cut diamonds, interspersed with French-, baguette-, and single-cut diamonds, accented with black onyx detailing, completed with black enamel accents and a reverse-set diamond at the apex; mounted in platinum, with French assay marks • Signed Cartier, no. 07902, RTÉ SGDG • In original Cartier fitted box While much of the jewelry produced in the Art Deco movement focused solely on geometric shapes, many inspired new forms emerged from nature, or the Western fascination with the Far East. Geometry would often underlay the inspired motif. Abstract and stylized forms in squares, circles, and rectangles replaced the flowers, leaves, and stems of traditional naturalistic motifs. Brooches, one of the most popular jeweled mediums, changed from realistic flower corsages to miniature stylized gardens adorned with diamonds and colored gems. This brooch by Cartier reflects these changes in design and is a stunning characterization of a potted topiary set throughout with diamonds and accented by black onyx. The garden landscapes of the 1920s were opulent and adorned with exotic flowers, well-manicured gardens and arranged with antique vases. Topiary, the art of forming perennials into rigorous forms was an ancient art dating back to the Romans. The labor-intensive process was favored in large formal gardens of the wealthy, who could afford the garden staff to maintain and care for the carefully considered design of a topiary. This brooch is the jeweled miniature of that aesthetic and was meticulously constructed with variety of cuts of diamonds to reflect varied textures and studded with spiked black onyx detailing to add volume and drama to the jewel. The 1920s were a time of splendor and beauty, fashion and design thrived, and drew ideas from each other. At the important 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, Cartier chose not to exhibit at the Grand Palais with all the other jewelers but next to the fashion houses in the Pavilion de L’Elegance. The company maintained a display in the center of the atrium that was studded with luxurious topiary, like an elegant paradise garden of jewelry. This impeccably designed brooch demonstrates the refined talent of Cartier and is an exceptional example of Art Deco elegance that would look chic and elegant today. Literature cf. Nadelhoffer, Hans. Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1984, pl. 11.


  • Creator
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stone Cut
    Round Cut
  • Dimensions
    Width: .88 in. (22.36 mm)Depth: .5 in. (12.7 mm)Length: 2 in. (50.8 mm)
  • Style
    Art Deco
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: F41971stDibs: LU2075211158542

Shipping & Returns

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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: 6 hours
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