Animal Instinct: The Life And Fate Of The Cartier Panther

Animal Instinct: The Life And Fate Of The Cartier Panther
Animal Instinct: The Life And Fate Of The Cartier Panther

Video: Animal Instinct: The Life And Fate Of The Cartier Panther

Video: Jeanette Aw x Panthère de Cartier 2022, November
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“There is no other creature that has such a strong emotional bond with the most stylish women of the 20th century,” says Pierre Rainero, director of heritage and style at Cartier, of the panther, the most important symbol of the brand entrusted to him. The spotted predator quickly became the main character of the history of the house.

Primarily thanks to Jeanne Toussaint.

Love and muse of Louis Cartier, a strong, independent, artistic person and she herself bore the nickname Panther. She seemed to foresee that the precious predator was destined to become the emblem of Cartier for many years. Toussaint received her first panther - on an onyx cigarette case - from her lover's hands in 1917: a tiny animal figure was depicted between two cypress trees. Two years later, she herself ordered from Cartier a Cantonese lacquer case with a wild cat in platinum, diamonds and onyx. And in 1924 she went to work for the family company, heading the new S (Silver) department for the production of more affordable collections and devoted herself to jewelry design.

Less than ten years later, Toussaint became the artistic director of the Cartier house - a rare case of a rapid female career for that time. Already under the leadership of Jeanne, sculptural panthers appeared in the house. The first, in 1948, was made of yellow gold with spots of black enamel, sitting on a huge emerald (the stone most likely belonged to the Duke of Windsor). A 1949 panther in white gold with blue sapphire spots rested on a huge cabochon sapphire weighing 152.35 carats. Jeanne Toussaint designed this brooch for her friend the Duchess of Windsor.

Panthère brooch made for the Duchess of Windsor, 1948
Panthère brooch made for the Duchess of Windsor, 1948

Panthère brooch made for the Duchess of Windsor, 1948

It is curious that the earliest appearance of the predator dates back to 1914: a spotted motif of onyx and diamonds adorned women's watches. The panther began with an abstract pattern that mimics its fur. It was precisely an attempt to interpret the spots on the hide, and not a geometric pattern of regular contrasting squares.

Cartier ladies watch, 1914
Cartier ladies watch, 1914

Cartier ladies watch, 1914

Two decades of the 2000s can be called the era of the Cartier panther: the spotted style icon has penetrated all the collections of the house. A sculptural figure serves as a bag buckle, a predatory profile is guessed in the facets of the La Panthère perfume bottle.

Cartier La Panthère fragrance
Cartier La Panthère fragrance

1 of 3 Panthère de Cartier clutch, 2016

© Press Office Fragrance Cartier La Panthère © Press Office Fragrance Cartier La Panthère © Press Office

The wild cat also took a liking to Cartier watches, and not only jewelry ones: it will appear on the dial in the technique of "fire gold", filigree or damascene, then it will arise from a scattering of gold balls (Révélation d'une Panthère), then it independently walks around the dial in the form of an automatic winding rotor (Promenade d'une Panthère).

Panthère de Cartier necklace, 2020
Panthère de Cartier necklace, 2020

1 of 5 Panthère de Cartier Bracelet, 2018

© Press Office Panthère de Cartier Ring, 2014

© Press Office Panthère Figurative Watches, 2019

© Press Office Panthère de Cartier Necklace, 2020 © Press Office

Modern techniques of jewelry sculpture and casting allow craftsmen to create a variety of images of a predator - realistic, when three-dimensional jewelry literally repeats the anatomy of a living animal, graphic or completely abstract. “In every decade, Cartier has had its own panther,” says Pierre Rainerau, “more sensual in the 80s, more aggressive in skeletonized volumetric rings of the 2010s. It is a symbol of absolute freedom and independence, feminine strength and magnetism. And by the way, one of my favorite subjects for private orders.”>

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