The artistry of Cartier is on display in this showcase of their collection of one-of-a-kind high jewelry.
“The Cartier Haute Joaillerie Exhibition,” a showcase of stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry, opens to the public this weekend at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue flagship in New York. Featuring massive gemstones and unparalleled artistry, Cartier’s collection of high jewelry is rarely seen in a museum-style exhibition, and you’ll be hard-pressed to see this much of it in one place ever again.
“Guests will have the unique opportunity to experience the art of high jewelry in person, bearing witness to the traditions of skilled craftsmanship that have been handed down within our Maison for more than 170 years,” said Mercedes Abramo, president and CEO of Cartier North America, in a statement.
Many of the pieces on view were created to highlight specific gemstones so rare that it would be next to impossible to find another of the same color and size. As a result, most of this high jewelry can never be replicated—although Cartier will produce a second version of select pieces should there be interest from two parties. Because it’s all for sale, the exhibition is likely the only opportunity the public will ever have to see this work.
There are necklaces with sculptural pendants, carved from emerald, sapphire, and other precious stones. One emerald-encrusted chain boasts no less than 13.78 carats-worth of the brilliant green jewels. There are diamonds in a wide range of brilliant colors, unexpected materials like petrified wood, and gemstones you may have never heard of, like rubellite tourmalines.
In addition to two floors of recent high jewelry creations from the luxury brand, the third floor will also feature selections from the Cartier Collection, comprising vintage pieces the company has repurchased at auction and on the secondary market. Not for sale, this collection includes work dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, with early examples of classic Cartier motifs like the panther, or the colorful carved gemstone Tutti Frutti collection, both still mainstays to this day.
On the third floor, visitors will also be treated to a glimpse of the “Cartier Atelier” experience, with three Cartier jewelry makers flown in from the workshops of Cartier Paris, at work before their very eyes. The talented artisans represent the various steps in the jewelry-making process, from the lapidary who cuts and polishes the stones to the jeweler who carefully sets them in the piece.
The accompanying display of a jeweler’s workbench features preliminary drawings and sketches of some of the pieces on view in the show, showcasing the innovation and artistry behind Cartier’s most impressive and unique designs.
“The Cartier Haute Joaillerie Exhibition” is on view at the Cartier Mansion, 653 Fifth Avenue, October 21–29, 2017. Hours are Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.