Wednesday, 9 February 2011

CARTIER and China: the Art Deco chimera bracelet

Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

Cartier first travelled to China as early as 1888 attracted to learning the lacquer techniques requested by the commissions of the Viscountess of Bonnemain. He became fascinated with the culture, the silks and materials, the iconography and design to the extent that a few years later, Cartier mixed Art Deco with the Chinese art creating a fashion followed all over the world. Not only he adopted the jade and coral carving techniques, Cartier also incorporated the Asian myths and symbolism into his pieces.

The Chimera bracelet, like the one featured above, automatically became an Art Deco classic; it mixes indian and asian cultures and represents the famous legendary monster with two heads. Cartier's genius took this ancient design to another level by combining enamel with carved coral and emeralds and with cabochon sapphires and different cut diamonds. This piece was made in 1928, may not be unique but it most certainly is a collectable!.