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Cartier Belle Époque Amethyst, Seed Pearl and Diamond Brooch, circa 1909
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Cartier Belle Époque Amethyst, Seed Pearl and Diamond Brooch, circa 1909

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This brooch was likely made by Cartier’s Paris workshop during the early 1900s. The use of a cabochon amethyst, combined with delicately set seed pearls and millegrain-set diamonds recalls Cartier’s designs during the Belle Époque which were heavily influenced by the Russian style and more specifically, the ‘Ballet Russe’.

It is a fine example of the jewels produced by Cartier Paris during this era and its’ aesthetics fit well with the tenets of volume and color propounded by Cartier’s most prominent designer of that time, Charles Jacqueau. Its’ voluminous, high cabochon amethyst center, deepened in color by the use of a closed-back foil technique, offsets the shimmering, neutral tone created by lustrous seed pearls and discreetly shimmering diamonds. The use of platinum, a metal which Cartier is credited with introducing into fine jewelry, also lends a visual and practical lightness to the jewel.

The jewel is signed Cartier Paris Londres in the same manner as other jewels made by the Paris workshop in circa 1909. The reverse of the brooch includes a small hole at its center, hinting at the possibility that the brooch was originally a detachable element of a Russian ‘kokoshnik’ tiara  or pendent necklace.

  • One oval-shaped cabochon amethyst
  • Single-cut diamonds
  • Seed pearls
  • Signed Cartier Paris Londres
  • Platinum and gold
  • Gross weight approximately 23.0 grams
  • Measuring approximately 1½ x 1¼ inches
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