Cartier’s Biennale glory

Cartier Precious Objects bowl with onyx and diamond detail

Cartier presented its new high jewellery collection at the Biennale in Paris this September. Precious, one-of-a-kind objects for the home such as the beautiful carved agate bowl (above)  added an element of surprise and opulence not seen since the 1950's. Details such as the diamond and onyx handle make these objects to truly desire. Jewellery of a more wearable kind was in true Cartier tradition with exuberant colours and exotic motifs to adorn the body. Cartier has brought the sparkle and glamour of its high jewellery to the Biennale des Antiquaires since the event first opened its doors in the 1950's. True to form, Cartier pulls out the stops and presents a spectacular collection themed around birds, water and feathers. Emeralds and sapphires play an important role in evoking water while more unusual stones such as the elusive padparadscha sapphire with its sunset orange glow (below)  or lesser known gems such as purple sapphires add a soft hue to birds plummage. The opal rises to glorious heights on the body of a bird in flight(main image top) , drops of light shimmering in its wake. While the fancy yellow diamond may traditionally have been at the centre of the necklace, here it is dangling from the bird's beak and a 26.04 carat opal takes the limelight.  The flashes of green, blue and yellow in the opal set the colour palette for this stunning piece that is cleverly constructed to be as fluid as water and rippling with movement and colour. You can almost hear the water cascading in this sapphire bead necklace (above) with its majestic carved sapphire centre stone evocative of the cool delights of water appreciated in the heat of the subcontinent by the maharajahs. It is interesting to see uncut sapphire beads with their natural inclusions and quirks included sitting next to magnificent diamonds. The emerald bracelet (above) sums up the mood of Cartier: highly wearable, tactile, sensual yet charged with echos from the past. Cartier's ability to treat opulence with such confidence will appeal to the most sophisticated jewellery lovers. Photo Credits:Nils Herrmann © Cartier 2010;Johan Sandberg © Cartier 2010;Vincent Wulveryck © Cartier 2010

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