"We would dream of having the first Santos watch."
We try to put together a collection that is as diverse as possible in the techniques presented, the types of objects and, of course, the style. It is equally important that all periods are covered, including modern history, so we are interested in objects from the 1970s, 1980s and even 1990s that have now appeared on the art market.
Now the collection contains more than 1500 jewelry, clocks (including table clocks), objects and accessories. We work closely with museums and curators to keep them informed of our recent acquisitions so that items from our collection can participate in exhibitions around the world and so that museums can host Cartier exhibitions. Now our exhibitions are scheduled for four years ahead. There are also things that museums have borrowed from us for a permanent exhibition, for example, in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. There is generally a wonderful collection of our jewelry! The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum also have magnificent collections (for example, the permanent exhibition of the museum contains Lady Mountbatten's tiara in the style of tutti frutti).
There are also objects that, on the contrary, we "occupy". Often from private collections. Thus, the Queen of England agreed to lend five items from her collection for an exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra.
© press service Cartier
When choosing jewelry for a collection, provenance is also important (for example, the item belonged to Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel or Henry Ford). Another important aspect is authenticity: we prefer items in their original state, rather than reworked ones, even in Cartier itself.
It is also important that the jewelry for the collection should be the first created among its kind. So, for example, we would dream of having the first Santos watch, or the second, 1908, now the earliest Santos in the collection - 1912 (presumably from among the first ten created).
"Among the objects of desire are the sotuars of the 1970s."
We currently have over 750 pieces of jewelry in our heritage collection, from the late 19th century to the early 2000s, and we continue to add to it. As soon as we find an interesting piece in terms of design or technical craftsmanship, we do our best to buy it back or arrange to be loaned to us for exhibitions. Now our main goal is to find the rarest things, which are difficult to find at auctions and in private collections. To find them, we comb the catalogs of all the major auctions in the world, we are in constant contact with private collectors, and advertising often helps us - for example, we published ads in newspapers that we were looking for Bulgari items created before 1990.
When we find an interesting object, we look for its sketches in the archives in order to accurately determine the provenance. Mr. Paolo and Mr. Nikola Bulgari, the great-grandchildren of the founder of the house, Sotirio Bulgari, are currently the President and Vice President of the Bulgari Group, making a huge contribution to the process of replenishing the collection and finding jewelry.
© Bulgari Press Service
Among the objects of desire are sautoirs of the 1970s: the best examples of them are extremely rare at auctions - they are universal, they are timeless, they continue to be worn today, and therefore collectors do not want to part with them. In the 1970s at BulgariThey experimented a lot with form, materials, style - from pop art to things with an obvious influence of the East, and therefore it is very interesting to find things for the collection, by which these stylistic experiments can be traced. Such as sotuars "Buddha" - long chains with a geometric motif and a magnificent detachable pendant in the shape of a Buddha in the lotus position. We are not even sure of the existence of some of these decorations - the sketches have survived, but we do not know for sure whether they were later brought to life and sold. One of the highest rewards in my work is to uncover the trail of a missing item that I consider to be a must for a heritage collection. This is usually the result of a long and very exciting work, a real investigation - in general, I often feel like a "legacy detective"!
"If I had to choose a single piece of Tiffany's great heritage, I would name one ring."
Tiffany & Co. - more than a brand, it is a symbol of craftsmanship, creativity and impeccable quality, the best in American design. This is confirmed by the fact that the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents an extensive collection of Tiffany items. Tiffany's connection to art can be traced back to the founder of the company, Charles Lewis Tiffany, one of the early trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his son Louis Comfort Tiffany, the artist and jeweler who led the American art nouveau movement. Of course, we would be delighted to have many of the museum's exhibits in our historical collection, but we are honored that visitors from all over the world can see the heritage of Tiffany.
The Tiffany Setting ring is the embodiment of the idea of the union of two lovers. The ring's original design, created in 1886, made it the most coveted engagement symbol in the world, and its story is one of the most fascinating chapters in the Tiffany chronicle.
© Tiffany & Co. Press Office
One of these amazing stories relates to the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On October 11, 1904, on the day of Eleanor Roosevelt's 20th birthday, he proposed to her with a Tiffany engagement ring. The center diamond weighs approximately 3.4 carats and the six surrounding diamonds weigh approximately 0.3 carats. She mentions the ring in her letter to him shortly after receiving the gift: “… I am delighted with it, so I can hardly restrain myself not to wear it! I can’t imagine a ring that I would have liked more…. Five months later, the couple got married in New York: Roosevelt wore a Tiffany watch, and Eleanor wore a Tiffany pearl necklace.
I would like to have this ring in our historical collection, but it is already part of the collection of the Presidential Library and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Museum, which is great, since it allows us to trace the formation of Tiffany not only as a brand, but also as an American institution. If I had to choose a single piece of Tiffany's great heritage, I would probably name this ring.
Jewelry, which we were lucky to have in the historical collection, can be seen now in Moscow. Opening a new store in Petrovsky Passage, we decided to showcase the heritage of Tiffany, collected over 180 years of history. We are showing two collections of archival pieces, Diamond Accents and Beyond, that reveal the beauty of Tiffany diamonds.
"This is a scarf necklace purchased by the Grand Duke Vladimir."
We are the oldest jewelry house in Place Vendôme, and our archives are, of course, important to us - they preserve history since 1858. Already in 1897, Frédéric Boucheron decided to open the first representative office abroad - and it was in Moscow, because in almost 40 years Russians had become important clients in Paris. The first Russian clients, by the way, in 1860 were the Grand Duchess Maria and her husband, Count Grigory Stroganov.
© Boucheron Press Service
We do not know how many jewelry survived the 1917 revolution. However, if we choose one piece of jewelry that we would like to have in our historical collection, it would be a scarf necklace acquired by the Grand Duke Vladimir in 1883. It is crafted with gold links and adorned with a fringe of 30 Panamanian white pearls and 76 rose cut diamonds. This jewelry is as soft as a real scarf, and this embodies the skill of Boucheron, and also reminds of his roots (Boucheron's parents were engaged in fabrics - ).
Van Cleef & Arpels: Romeo and Juliet together again
Curator of the museum and curator of the heritage of Van Cleef & Arpels Catherine Carioux has been looking for a pair of Romeo brooch for Juliet brooch for over ten years. “We have one extremely romantic story: we learned from paper archives that the“Juliet”brooch, which we have in our historical collection, has a pair -“Romeo”. But for many years now I have not been able to find any trace of it. As we know, only four of these brooches were made, and my dream is to find one of them. " While working on the material, we contacted Catherine and learned that Romeo had finally been found. The couple are back together.
© Boucheron Press Service