Cartier Paris, 1925
Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and rubies cut into the form of leaves, emeralds, onyx, black enamel. 19.5 x 3.8 cm
Geneva, Collection Cartier, Inventory no BT 110 A25
This bracelet was of the type that was created for the Paris Exhibition in 1925. Linda Lee Thomas (1883-1954), rich divorcee, married the famous American author-composer Cole Porter in 1919. Although Cole Porter was homosexual, the couple remained married until their deaths. Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Mrs. Porter was an ardent admirer of the Tutti Frutti style of the House of Cartier.
The Tutti Frutti gem: The initial contact between Cartier and the Indian civilisation dates from 1901. At the time when Great Britain is in mourning after the passing away of Queen Victoria, the new Queen Alexandra will inherit numerous Indian jewels from her mother-in-law, jewellery that was presented to her by Indian princes. It essentially pertains here to heavy male gemstones that will eventually be adapted by Cartier on instruction from Princess Alexandra. This way, Cartier was able to study and analyse first-hand how Indian jewellery was fashioned. During the same period, the Indian princes would visit Europe to commission majestic forms of parures. The maharajas of Cooch-Behar, Baroda, Patiala, will ignore the religious taboos that forbid their crossing the seas. They have their parures adapted to fit the fashions of the day. The new jewellery sets of these maharajas still maintain the Indian traditional style but their mountings will be strongly lightened and their gemstones polished anew and given a revived brilliance. Cartier takes his inspiration from Indian techniques and re-introduces motifs such as the palmette of Cashmir, stones cut to create new parures. The jewel « tutti frutti » is created by inserting precious stones of various hues into the Art Deco gems.