To commemorate Cartier: The Exhibition, held at the National Gallery of Australia from March 30 to July 22, Vogue delved into the Cartier collection for a rare photo shoot by Nicole Bentley of its landmark pieces on Georgia Fowler, styled by Kate Darvill.
Bird brooch, 1948, Cartier Paris
This fantastical post-war piece of high jewellery was a special commission made from a combination of diamonds provided by the client and Cartier’s own jewels.
Crocodile necklace, 1975, Cartier Paris
The story has it that María Félix walked into the Cartier Paris boutique with her pet crocodile, and requested that it inspire her next jewellery piece. The result: a pair of jewelled crocodiles, one of the emeralds and one of intense yellow diamonds, that could be worn as a necklace or separately as brooches.
Cuff bracelet, circa 1976, Cartier New York
The 1970s period of Cartier saw the launch of the famous Love bracelet and Juste un Clou, designed by Aldo Cipullo. The designs of the period were distinct for their innovation and expressed the racy mood of the decade. This cuff, once owned by Elizabeth Taylor, is no exception.
Diamond brooch, 1928, Cartier New York
A special order piece from the New York boutique, this art deco-style brooch is now in the collection of Sir Elton John, who purchased it from a Sotheby’s London sale in 1993.
Diamond tiara, 1837, Cartier London
In 1937, Cartier London received orders for 27 tiaras – most of them were to be worn at the coronation of King George VI in May of that year. The central motif of the tiara can be removed and worn as a brooch.
Flamingo brooch, 1940, Cartier Paris
The Duke of Windsor commissioned this brooch for the birthday of Wallis Simpson and it became one of her favourite pieces of jewellery. Designed in collaboration with Cartier’s Jeanne Toussaint, it features diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and a single citrine.
Matching ruby and diamond set, Cartier Paris, 1951
The quality of a diamond can be determined by its natural intensity, so it is remarkable that these vibrant rubies from Burma were never heat-treated. The necklace pieces were made to be detachable and can be worn as brooches. This parure, or set, was made for Lady Deterding, a renowned jewellery collector.
Rose clip brooch, 1938, Cartier London
To depict the rose’s unique curvature, diamonds of various shapes and sizes were carefully placed to create this piece. Owned by Princess Margaret, the brooch was worn to the coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 at Westminster Abbey.
Snake ring, 1966, Cartier Paris
A similar ring, made one year earlier, was bought by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor.
Vanity case, 1936, and ring, 1948, Cartier Paris
Jewelled vanity cases were a speciality of Cartier – called nécessaires because their compact size meant they could hold a small amount of makeup, a comb or cigarettes. A gold band embellished with ruby beads, this ring was owned by Parisian socialite Daisy Fellowes, an influential fashion icon during the 1920s and 30s.