Comprising fifty-two graphite, water color, and gouache drawings, the Athenæum’s collection of original Cartier decorative drawings illustrates small, gold accessories created by Cartier craftsmen, likely at the firm's London studios between the years 1925 and 1930. The renderings were executed in exacting detail and exhibited an art deco or modernist aesthetic. Pieces, often accented with jewels, include a gold lipstick case adorned with cabochon sapphires, a gold cigarette lighter inlaid with French-cut sapphires, and several types of gold mechanical pencils. The Société Cartier, designers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers of jewelry and watches, was founded in Paris, France in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier and remained under family control until 1964.
Stanley Ellis Cushing
Anne C. and David J. Bromer Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts
Cartier. Collection of Original Designs for Art Deco Gold Cases, London and Paris, ca.1925-1930. Athenæum Purchase, Rodney Armstrong Fund, 2012.