Monday, 24 September 2012

A VAN CLEEF and ARPELS Mughal inspired CARTIER

This is a good story... In 1947 Barbara Hutton commissioned a necklace-tiara to Cartier with seven exquisite emeralds that belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir. Cartier had purchased the stones in 1919 from the Grand Duchess when she escaped Russia and later had sold them to Edith Rockefeller McCormick. Cartier purchased the emeralds back in 1935 upon the death of Mrs McCormick and sold them to Barbara Hutton for more than one million dollars. The stones were initially set in a pair of earrings, a ring and a sautoir but Miss Hutton asked Cartier at a later stage, to design a Mughal inspired necklace to hold them as pendants. She sold the necklace to Van Cleef and Arpels in 1967. The necklace was identical to the one featured above except for the pearls. In 1967 Van Cleef resold the emeralds in another piece and in 1972 they sold the necklace above (signed and numbered) to Brooke Astor. The piece will be auctioned by Sotheby's NY on september 25th.