The influence of the Orient on some of Cartier's most evocative designs is laid bare in this fascinating exhibition.
Tuesday-Sunday, 2-6pm; closed on Monday. Entry: adults CHF 15; concessions CHF 10; children under 16 free of charge.
More than 160 pieces from the globetrotting Cartier Collection are on show alongside around 100 pieces from the Baur Foundation, exploring the French Maison's enduring attraction to Asia and Asian design, and the historical and cultural context in which its Asian-inspired jewels and objets d'art were created.
Curated by Estelle Niklès van Osselt, an expert on China, the exhibition takes visitors on an exotic journey through pagodas glittering with diamonds, colourful gems and jade dragons juxtaposed with imperial porcelain, embroidered silks and prints belonging to the Baur Foundation.
Strolling through the exhibition, it is clear there are two masters at work here: the collector Alfred Baur, whose extensive collection of Asian art, from lacquer wear to Chinese ceramics, netsuke and sword fittings, fills the Fondation Baur museum; and the famed jeweller Cartier, which has been inspired by the exoticism of the Far East since the turn of the 20th century. It was in the Roaring Twenties, however, that the influence really made itself felt in jewels and watches incorporating precious materials, motifs and design elements originating from the Orient.
Look beyond the wow factor of the Cartier jewels on show - many of which were created in this key period in history - and you can take much, much more away from this cleverly curated exhibition, including a renewed appreciation of the profound influence Asia has had, and continues to have, on the West.
An impressive rock crystal and onyx brooch, and vibrant carved coral and jade earrings, both of which weave in intricate Chinese motifs.