The firm of Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 and first came to prominence in the late 1890s, when it opened a new shop on the Rue de la Paix, the heart of the haute couture district, and set up its own design and manufacturing operation. By 1909 the firm had branches in London and New York — each with its own designers and workshops — and Cartier had become the favorite jeweler of European aristocrats and their American counterparts, Indian maharajas, members of the art world, and stars of the stage and screen. Drawing on fresh research and Cartier’s extraordinarily complete archives in Paris, London, and New York, author Judy Rudoe traces for the first time the history of individual jewels, identifying the clients who commissioned or purchased them and following the entire creative process from initial designs to finished pieces. Sketches and archival photographs reveal the astonishing variety of Cartier’s creations, and previously unpublished original plaster casts document major pieces no longer in existence.
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