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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Baume & Mercier Reveals ‘Promesse’ Ladies Watch Collection in New York

Actress Jessica Pare introduces the Promesse collection while Alain Zimmerman, Baume & Mercier’s CEO, and Rudy Chavez, Baume & Mercier’s North American president, look on. Behind them are the padlocks where guests were able to make a “promise” to themselves. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

Baume & Mercier unveiled its first new ladies watch collection in nearly 10 years during an event in New York attended by Swiss watch brand’s top officials along with several celebrities, including actress Jessica Pare of Mad Men.

Baume & Mercier Promesse 10157 in stainless steel with a drapé guilloché dial.

The company unveiled the “Promesse” timepiece collection during the June 18 event at Gotham Hall, also attended by Star Jones and Supermodel Emme. The line consist of 14 pieces in two sizes, 30 and 34mm, and are available in a Swiss-made quartz or automatic movement that can be viewed through a transparent caseback. The collection is inspired by the unconventional watches the company created for ladies in the 1970s.

The automatic movement.

The watches combine different decorative and functional elements. All of the pieces employ an oval bezel that surround a round dial, the signature nod to one of its1970 models. Most of the models use a drapé (draped) guilloché design for its dials while others employ colorful mother-of-pearl. All of the dials also use Roman numerals at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Most use diamond markers on the remaining indices. Diamonds, mother-of-pearl, or red gold (creating a two-tone effect) are also used to further enhance the bezels. The watch straps are available in stainless steel, a two-tone combination (stainless steel and plated red gold), white satin, or black alligator.

Baume & Mercier Promesse 10166 with black mother-of-pearl black dial with a “drapé guilloché” and 61 diamonds.

There are enough subtle variations in its 14 models to create several options for women who purchase this watch. The Promesse (French for Promise ) is being marketed to self-purchasing women, inspiring them “to hold a promise close to their heart while celebrating their unique individuality through their own timepiece.” This notion was reinforced at a June 18 event in New York marking the US release of the timepieces. Guests were given a padlock and asked to inscribe their own personal promise before locking it to a metal stage prop modeled after the romantic bridges in Paris.

Baume & Mercier Promesse-10163 combines steel and red gold-capped steel with a silver-colored “drapé guilloché dial.

In addition to the celebrities, Baume & Mercier’s global CEO, Alain Zimmerman and North American president, Rudy Chavez were in attendance. Pare wore the Promesse 10160, an oval, mother of pearl, steel bracelet watch with 30 diamonds set on the bezel (pictured below).

The watches will be available in September at select retailers nationwide and online, starting at $1,900.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Verdura To Celebrate 75 Years With an Exhibition Curated by Carolina Herrera

Duke Fulco di Verdura. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

Verdura is one of the very few jewelers that elicit gasps from people when I say I’m planning a visit. Its respect and awe are well earned.

Duke Fulco di Verdura (1898 – 1978), already well-known as a high jewelry designer through his collaborations with Coco Chanel and Paul Flato, became a superstar in the rarefied world where royalty, business leaders and world-class entertainers mingle when he opened his eponymous boutique on New York’s Madison Avenue in 1939. The Sicilian native is credited with modernizing high jewelry and for adding colorful precious gemstones to yellow gold, which surprisingly wasn’t done previously.

“Medusa” Brooch, created in collaboration with Salvador Dalí, 1941.
Made of gold, morganite and ruby, it frames a miniature painting
of Medusa by Dali.

His work will be the subject of a retrospective titled “The Power of Style: Verdura at 75,” from October 14 till December 23 at a space adjacent to the Verdura flagship location on 745 5th Ave., just feet away from his original boutique. It will feature approximately 150 original jewelry pieces and objects d’art by Fulco di Verdura as well as a small selection of his 10,000 gouache jewelry designs, archival materials, personal miniature paintings and period photographs.

From left: Nico Landrigan, Verdura president, fashion designer
Carolina Herrera and Ward Landrigan, Verdura chairman and CEO. 

Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

On Monday Verdura unveiled some of its plans for the exhibition led by Ward Landrigan, who purchased Verdura in 1985; his son Nico, its president; and the exhibit’s curators fashion designer Carolina Herrera and her husband Reinaldo Herrera, a Vanity Fair editor; and their daughter, Patricia Lansing, who arrived late directly from the airport following a flight from Brazil. The Herreras were friends with Duke Fulco di Verdura and are longtime friends of the Landrigan family.

The future exhibition space now under construction and posters of famous celebrity clients and jewelry that will be featured in the exhibit. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

The preview was held at the exhibit’s future space, currently under construction. Within the bare walls were several jewelry pieces, various posters, jewelry drawings and a poster-size photograph of Duke Fulco di Verdura in a white dress shirt and black tie smoking a cigarette. All will be included in the exhibition.

Gemstone, gold and enamel “Maltese Cross” Cuffs, circa 1930, originally belonging to Coco Chanel. 

Reinaldo Herrera, who knew the jeweler since he was a teenager, said Verdura had the ability to take precious materials and create artistic jewelry that didn’t necessarily demand immediate attention and could be worn casually. Prior to that high jewelry was big, bold and strictly worn on formal occasions.

Aquamarine and diamond necklace, 1933.

His collaborations with Salvador Dalí produced some of his most famous pieces. One item that was shown to the press Monday was the “Medusa” brooch, with 13 intertwined snakes made of 14k yellow gold with cabochon ruby eyes that frames a miniature painting of Medusa set with a 73-carat Morganite. Ward Landrigan called the piece the world’s greatest surrealist art work.

Gold, platinum and diamond “Laurel” tiara, 1957. Designed as a commission for Betsey Whitney

Verdura’s client base included the Whitneys, Mellons and Rockefellers; actors Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and Rita Hayworth; and the composer and songwriter Cole Porter and his wife Linda who, along with Vincent Astor, gave Verdura his initial financing. Nearly all of the pieces in the collection are on loan by private owners. Ward Landrigan noted that the excitement building up to the exhibition is causing more owners to loan their pieces.

An example of the archives that will be part of the exhibition.

The Herreras revealed little of their plans for the exhibition, instead focusing on Verdura the man. “He was a fun person with a sharp tongue,” said a laughing Carolina; while Reinaldo added that “he said all the right things to all the wrong people.”

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

5.5-Carat Pink Diamond Leads Christie’s Auction Selling For $9.5 Million

A 5.50-carat oval-cut fancy vivid pink diamond with VVS1 clarity sold for more than $9.5 million (over $1.7 million per carat) Tuesday at Christie’s New York Important Jewels sale. The price was well above the precaution estimate of $7.5 million.

Two other lots earned more than $1 million: A 20.08-carat, D‐color VVS1 potentially internally flawless rectangular cut diamond ring by Taffin (pictured above) that sold for $3 million ($153,240 per carat), within its estimate, and a 5.91-carat rectangular-cut fancy light pink VS1 diamond that sold for more than $1.8 million ($310,490 per carat), about three times its high estimate of $675,000. 

The auction itself achieved more than $27.5 million with 83 percent sold by lot and 85 percent sold by value. Seven of the 10 buyers were from the jewelry trade. 

Other highlights of the sales included the following:

* A long chain diamond necklace by Leviev (pictured above) with 108 collet-set diamonds, weighing approximately 1.16 to 1.00 carats with the reverse of each enhanced with pavé-set diamonds. It’s joined by a circular-cut diamond and cabochon emerald openwork clasp, mounted in platinum. It sold for $965,000.

* A pair of pear-shaped D-color internally flawless diamond ear pendants (pictured above) of 5.46 and 5.00 carats that sold for $905,000.

* A Van Cleef & Arpels diamond and sapphire “zip” necklace (pictured above) fetched $389,000, above its $350,000 high estimate. The circular-cut piece is designed to look like a zipper, with a caliber-cut sapphire sliding ribbon, mounted in 18k white gold. 

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Patek Philippe 1923 Officier Achieves $2.9 Million; Five Bespoke Patek Titanium Watches Fetch Millions

Patek Philippe 1923 Officier 

The Patek Philippe earliest known single-button split-seconds chronograph wristwatch sold for nearly $3 million Tuesday at Sotheby’s New York. It was part of a private collection of 12 Patek watches, including five bespoke titanium timepieces, which sold for a total of $7.1 million.

Sotheby’s described the Patek Officier chronograph as “a piece of watchmaking history.” It was started in 1903 and completed and sold on October 13, 1923, according to the auction house. The yellow gold watch is the only split-seconds chronograph by Patek Philippe with a white enamel dial. It sold at auction to a Swiss museum for $2.965 million—more than double its $1.2 million high estimate. The price matches Sotheby’s top result for any wristwatch, achieved by The Henry Graves, Jr. Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Wristwatch by Patek Philippe, which sold in 2012.

The $7.1 million price for the 12 Patek Philippe watches, which the auction house called “The Titanium Collection,” well exceeded its $4.9 million high estimate. In addition to the five titanium watches and the historic Patek split-seconds chronograph, the 12 watches placed on auction Tuesday included additional references by Patek that have remained unknown to collectors, as well as unique pieces incorporating rare materials and designs beyond titanium.

Patek Philippe Ref 5001T Sky Moon Tourbillon

The titanium collection was led by the previously-unknown Ref. 5001T Sky Moon Tourbillon that fetched more than $1.3 million. The double dialed wristwatch has 12 complications including tourbillon, perpetual calendar, retrograde date, sky chart, moon-phases, orbit display, sidereal time and minute repeating on cathedral gongs, made circa 2002. In addition to the lightweight metal, the watch is further distinguished by its basket weave motif, repeated on the bezel and the dial where the standard Sky Moon Tourbillon normally features the firm’s signature Calatrava crosses, as well as unabbreviated cardinal points on the star chart.

Other commissioned pieces in the collection include the previously unknown Platinum Ref. 5103P, which sold for $773,000 and the Flawless Officer Ref. 3928, which achieved $737,000—an auction record for a contemporary time-only watch by Patek Philippe and well above its $500,000 high estimate. The case back of the Flawless Officer is set with a 9.44 carat, D color, internally flawless diamond that provides a window to the movement.

Sotheby’s Important Watches Auction totaled $11.7 Million, the highest total for an auction of timepieces from various watch owners at Sotheby’s New York. Other highlights included:

* A gold, hardstone, enamel and gem-set desk timepiece in the form of a tortoise, circa 1928, sold for $875,000, well above its $500,000 high estimate. The dial and movement are concealed within the tortoise shell that opens.

* A white gold and diamond-set bracelet watch, Ref 40011 by Piaget carrying a total diamond weight of approximately 57 carats fetched $398,000, above its $300,000 high estimate.

* The Hublot Key of Time MB-02 and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre a Spherotourbillon, each brought in $185,000.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Montblanc Presents Arts Patronage Award to Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Enterprises

Jane Rosenthal Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

Artists once depended on royalty to support their work, then it became the responsibility of governments. However, in today’s world kingdoms are few and governments are facing monumental challenges so its role is greatly reduced. This function now falls on the shoulders of private institutions and their wealthy counterparts. Since 1922, Montblanc has been honoring those who go out of their way to support artists and their creations through the Montblanc Culture Arts Patronage Award.   

“When you give an award for an artist, which is important, then you honor this artist. But you are not providing the basics for many other artists to develop because when you think about young artists what they miss the most is money. What they miss the most is the opportunity to concentrate on perfecting their skills,” said Lutz Bethge, vice chairman of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation. “This is why patronage is so important. In the past it was done by the emperors, the kings, the church and so on. They are all gone and government funds are limited so it is up to committed individuals and successful corporations to do the job.”

It even comes upon those who don't consider themselves patrons. This brings us to Jane Rosenthal. The television and movie producer is now most associated with co-founding, with her more famous partner Robert De Niro, what has grown to become Tribeca Enterprises, which she serves as CEO. The organization in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan combines for-profit and nonprofit ventures that include branded entertainment businesses, the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival International, Tribeca Cinemas, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and the distribution label Tribeca Film.

Robert De Niro Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

The organization under Rosenthal’s leadership has been credited with helping to revitalize the southern Manhattan neighborhood, provide funding for young filmmakers producing independent film projects and promote the arts through community outreach. For this work, Rosenthal was the latest recipient of the Montblanc Culture Arts Patronage Award during a cocktail reception at Stephan Weiss Studio in New York on June 3. It comes with a cash prize and a one-of-a-kind writing instrument, created to honor Henry E. Steinway of the Steinway Piano Company.

“I never realized the word patron applied to me,” Rosenthal said prior to the awards presentation. “It brings the connotation of kings and queens. I’m a kid from Providence, Rhode Island. But it’s so important to support the arts. Its artists who shine a light on the important problems and issues that we have and if there’s any hope, it’s going to be through the work that artists can do to unite us.”

Montblanc presents this award in several countries. Each has its own group of jurors who make the recommendations, which are then approved by all the jurors around the world. This year the American jury was comprised of fashion designer Prabal Gurung, Christopher “Kip” Forbes, vice chairman of Forbes, and actor Anthony Mackie.

Anthony Mackie Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

“Everybody who was up for the award expressed a huge amount of philanthropy. A huge amount of selflessness,” Mackie said. “I feel like with Jane, her philanthropy stretched far outside her hands’ reach. I’ve known Jane for about seven years and she affected me far before I was able to say hello to her and she knew who I was. I feel like with this organization, Tribeca, she has the ability to reach out and affect kids all over the world, artists all over the world…. You can go anywhere in an artistic community and find someone who not only knows her but has been either helped or affected by her.”

During the presentation, several people spoke to acknowledge Rosenthal's work including De Niro, who presented the Montblanc award to her. He joked that lately she’s been receiving more honors than him. Then he became serious.

“For 25 years Jane has guided me, supported me, bullied me, challenged me and collaborated with me. She has the guts to say no to me and the taste and intelligence to be right when she says it,” he said. “Jane is being honored this evening for being a patron of the arts. It comes so naturally to her because she appreciates what artists do. She says that being an artist is a lonely job, but also an essential one. Artists need incentives and they deserve our support. Jane understands the soul of the artist because she has the soul of the artist.”

The Montblanc Henry E. Steinway writing instrument
awarded to Jane Rosenthal.
Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

In her remarks, Rosenthal thanked Montblanc for recognizing the importance of what artists do and for providing a cash award that will be used for expanding a program at Tribeca.

“Society is defined by its culture and understanding that the creative response becomes the global response,” she said. “Thank you for making your generous donation in euros rather than dollars. They’re not only worth more but I think they’re cooler. With this award money we will fund work for ‘Tribeca Teaches,’ a program that we do here at the Tirbeca Film Institute that’s close to my heart. Our goal is to take the program nationally and internationally so thank you for helping us take another step toward that goal.”

It's clear that the Rosenthal and De Niro are not only partners but friends as she explained how De Niro approached her to take the position and how the job has defined who she is.

“When he offered me the job and I said I’m going to have to think about it, he yelled at me. ‘What? Do you want to be a studio executive for the rest of your life?’ That was the first time I ever thought that the words ‘studio executive’ was a curse word.”

If it wasn’t for Bob, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d probably be at name-that-studio making all those silly dollars, living in some mansion in Beverly Hills, flying private, lounging at restaurants. But honestly I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”

She added, “We get asked why we give money to the arts when there are so many desperate problems in the world—famine, war, oppression, poverty. The answer is that the arts nourish us spiritually. When we as a society are spiritually whole, we will not allow famine, we will end war, we will not tolerate oppression and we may eventually eradicate poverty. Maybe we’ll even have peace.”

The Montblanc limited edition Henry E. Steinway 4810 writing instrument.

The Montblanc “Patron of Art” writing instruments is dedicated annually to an historical figure who has promoted the arts and artists. This year it’s Henry E. Steinway. In addition to the one-of-kind edition of the pen that is presented annually to winners in various countries given the Montblanc Culture Arts Patronage Award, limited editions of the writing instrument are released for the general public.

The gold nib of the Montblanc limited edition Henry E. Steinway 4810 writing instrument.

The Henry E. Steinway Limited Edition 4810 in deep black lacquer and gold-plated fittings has a cap decorated with the heart of the piano–the harp. The shape of the gold-plated clip references the once-patented screw clamps used for bending the grand piano rim into its distinctive sweeping curve. The name “Steinway & Sons,” above the keyboard of every piano produced by Steinway, is engraved on the gold-plated cone ring. The gold nib is engraved with a portrait of Henry E. Steinway. The Montblanc emblem in black and white resin crowns the fountain pen.

The Montblanc Henry E. Steinway 888 limited edition writing instrument.

The Henry E. Steinway Limited Edition 888 has a cap adorned with the representation of a piano harp made of gold. The gold nib can be seen through the skeletonized cap. The barrel depicts an octave of piano keys in black and white. The pattern on the cap ring is inspired by the decor of the domed rotunda in the Steinway Hall in New York. The Montblanc emblem is made of mother-of-pearl.

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Queen Elizabeth Wears Tiara and Diamonds at French State Dinner

Queen Elizabeth II with French President Francois Hollande (left)
and her husband Prince Philip.

French President Francois Hollande honored Queen Elizabeth II with a state dinner Friday reportedly attended by seven monarchs and 10 presidents to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. The jewelry worn by the queen at the historic event was appropriate for the grand occasion and nearly as compelling as her words in the speech she gave, which were described by London’s Daily Mail as “forceful and personal.” 

Consulting with Buckingham Palace Sunday and verifying that information with two of several blogs that follows the queen’s jewelry preferences, “From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault,” “The Court Jeweller,” as well as The Royal Collection Trust website and Wikipedia, I was able to get a near complete picture of what she wore. 

Described by a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman as “Queen Mary’s Tiara,” I was able to learn that what she wore was “The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara,” which was a wedding present to Queen Mary in 1893 from a committee of girls representing Great Britain and Ireland. It is one of the current queen’s favorites, according to several sources. 

The queen also wore the “Coronation Necklace” and the matching “Coronation Earrings.” These are substantial diamond jewelry pieces with little adornment. A total of 26 large diamonds make up the necklace with the largest diamond suspended as a pendant. Matching diamond drop earrings make up the set. 

Thanks to From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault,” I was able to identify the brooch on her red sash as the Queen Mother’s ruby and diamond bouquet brooch.

The queen also wore a diamond bracelet, rings and a watch, according to a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman. 

In case you're interested, below is a transcript of the speech given by the queen at the dinner:

Monsieur le President, The Duke of Edinburgh and I are delighted to be here this evening on this, our fifth State Visit to your country.

Our first visit together overseas was to France, in 1948: shortly after our wedding, and four years after D-Day.

I recall my own happiness, discovering this beautiful country for myself and for the first time, and developing my own great affection for the French people.

Wherever two or more of our countrymen gather, there one finds the unique mixture of friendship, good-humoured rivalry and admiration that is the essence of Anglo-French relations.

But tonight, stirred by the day’s commemorations, we are also filled with other emotions:

With sorrow and regret, remembering the loss of so many fine young soldiers, sailors and airmen;

With pride, at the sheer courage of the men who stormed those beaches, embodied in the veterans among us;

And with thankfulness, knowing that today our nations are free and sovereign because allied forces liberated this continent from occupation and tyranny.

Knitted together by common experiences of struggle, sacrifice and reconciliation, we remember those times in a way that strengthens unity and understanding between us.

In that spirit, I venture three observations:

The first is that the true measure of all our actions is how long the good in them lasts.

Each year has compounded in Europe the benefits of our victory in the Second World War, since it enabled our subsequent successes and our achievements. Seen in that light, those heroic deeds will stand out as much in 700 years as they do after 70.

In an age of instant news and instantaneous judgment, it reminds us that we should weigh our actions not by immediate acclaim, but by their benefit for future generations.

This leads me to my second observation, which is that everything we do, we do for the young.

Since my last State Visit I have had the joy of becoming a great-grandmother.

The hopes and innate potential of young people are the same in all nations and on all continents.

The decisions we make should always be designed to enlarge their horizons and enrich their future, from caring for our environment to preventing conflict.

Our peace and prosperity can never be taken for granted and must constantly be tended, so that never again do we have cause to build monuments to our fallen youth.

My third observation is that our two nations, Britain and France, have a particular role to play in this effort.

We are two of the trustees of international peace and security, and we are both ready and equipped to aid those threatened by poverty or conflict.

We are famously proud of that which is particular to each of our peoples, and rejoice in our cultural differences.

But there is also great inspiration to be found in what we represent together:

Two democracies who have faced grave perils and emerged stronger together.

And two of the world’s most successful economies, working together on the technologies of the future, and making a vast contribution to the development of other nations.

All this rests on the efforts of thousands of people who have made the Channel not a dividing line but a trait d’union.

It gives immense confidence in the future of relations between us.

Monsieur le President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I pay tribute to the nation of France, as Kipling wrote: 

“First to follow Truth and last to leave old Truths behind – France, beloved of every soul that loves its fellow-kind!”

And I ask you to join me in a toast to the French Republic, to the President and to the people of France.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Montblanc's 2014 Jewelry Collection

The Montblanc Emblem Ladies Fine Jewellery Collection

I’ve been interested in how a masculine brand like Montblanc positioned its fine jewelry collection for women since its introduction in 2011. Is it an attempt to attract self-purchasing women shoppers or as a way for men to buy something for their loved ones without leaving the store? The brand has said over the years it’s an attempt to do both. It’s difficult to tell how well it is performing since its parent company, Richemont, doesn’t release financial details that specific.

It must be doing well enough as the company released a new additions to the collection within the same design motif. However, its marketing of the collection has changed substantially.

The collection, which began life as the Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco, is now called the “Montblanc Emblem Ladies Fine Jewellery Collection.” Its original designer, Susie Otero, is no longer the lead in the project, choosing not to commute to Montblanc’s headquarters in Hamburg. Instead, she has taken a position as public relations director of Montblanc France, based in Paris where she lives.

But for those who know the collection little has changed. This first look of three new styles shows that the focal point remains interlaced rose petals (pétales entrelacés) in 18k pink or white gold. The designs remain delicate with graceful curves throughout. In some cases they are enhanced by pavé diamonds, which appear like dew on the “petals.”

The Coeur de Pétales Entrelacés bangle in 18k pink gold

However, while the changes are subtle they are noticeable. For example, the Coeur de Pétales Entrelacés the largest collection of the three, uses two interlaced petals that reflect light and symbolize an “unbreakable bond between lovers,” the company says. The collection is comprised of rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and bangles, available in pink or white gold with discreet pavé diamonds settings.

Trèfle de Pétales Entrelacés earrings in 18k pink gold

The Trèfle de Pétales Entrelacés uses eight interlacing petals that form a four-leaf clover design that is presented in a pink gold ring, necklace and earrings. Each of the four leaves has meaning: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck, the company says.

Pluie d’ Étoiles necklace in 18k white gold and diamond pavé

The Pluie d’ Étoiles features the Montblanc star, the signature motif of the luxury brand’s heritage, in white gold that sparkles with a burst of pavé diamonds. It’s available in earrings and a bracelet.

The standout piece in the collection combines all three symbols—the heart, the clover and the Montblanc star—for a ring centered by a white gold full pavé diamond heart. All three elements appear to be floating on the ring (pictured above).

The last two designs are the boldest in the collection’s young life.

The collection will be available in selected Montblanc boutiques worldwide.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cartier Jewelry Collection Owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post Cartier Jewelry Collection Opens to the Public

Marjorie Merriweather Post sat alongside her daughter Nedenia Hutton wearing a Cartier emerald and diamond pendant brooch. Photo credit: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887 – 1973) was considered to be the wealthiest woman in the world and with her fortune she amassed one of the most important private collections of Cartier jewelry. For the first time the entire collection is now on display at Post’s former Washington, D.C., estate, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. The exhibition will run till December 31.

Post, the heiress of the Postum Cereal Company, collected Cartier items from the 1920s to the 1960s, arguably a time when the luxury jeweler was creating its most important pieces. The exhibition includes some of Cartier’s most important pieces, the majority of which are big and bold with fine craftsmanship and variety. Art Deco themes are well represented but some pieces have far more exotic inspirations. The exhibition includes portraits of Mrs. Post wearing some of the jewelry. 

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution. Photography by Chip Clark
Two of the pieces are on loan from the Smithsonian Institution. The 21.04-carat Maximilian emerald, a Colombian emerald once set in a ring worn by Mexico's emperor, Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph (pictured above). 

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution. Photography by Chip Clark

The other piece on loan from the famed museum is perhaps the top item on display, an Art Deco Indian-style diamond, platinum and enamel necklace and shoulder brooch made in 1928-1929 that features 24 baroque-cut Colombian emerald drops, each surmounted by a smaller emerald bead (pictured above). At least one of the emeralds dates back to the 17th century Mughal Empire.

Photo credit: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

In addition, several of pieces were included in the exhibition, Cartier Le Style et l’Histoire, at the Grand Palais, Paris, earlier this year. Items from the Post collection have been shown intermittently at the Hillwood Estate at different times. This is the first time the entire collection has been given its own dedicated exhibition. 

Other items of note include:

Photo credit: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

* A diamond and sapphire necklace (1936/37) with its precise geometric form (pictured above) is a fine example of the Art Deco pieces that Cartier is known for. 

Photo credit: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

* A three-strand necklace with Caro Yamaoka natural pearls (1963) is centered with a large, carved platinum and diamond clasp (1936), again in a fringe design (pictured above). 

Photo credit: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

* A necklace and earrings set made with 18 faceted amethysts of varying sizes and shapes, with carved turquoise and diamonds set in gold and platinum. 

In addition to the jewelry, there are objet d'art pieces. Among the standouts are a carved jade tobacco box decorated with gold, enamel and sapphires; a silver monogrammed box with jade and coral highlights; and a silver, enamel and glass dressing table set.

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