Accompanied by a photocopy of Laboratoire Français de Gemmologie report no. 187934 dated February 16, 2009 stating that the star sapphire is of Ceylon origin, with no indications of heating.
Embodying the perfect balance between strength and elegance, power and refinement, panther jewels by Cartier have occupied an exalted position among jewelry’s most enduring designs since the early 20th century. What began as a playful motif by Jeanne Toussaint in 1914 evolved into fully three-dimensional felines that moved with the same sensuality and litheness of their real world counterparts. As striking manifestations of Cartier’s superlative artistry and workmanship, these jeweled cats have graced the likes of the Duchess of Windsor, Barbara Hutton and Princess Nina Aga Khan as well as other women of great style and means, many of whom commissioned panther creations as extensions of their own feminine might.
Lot 145 brings to mind the Duchess of Windsor’s legendary example where the panther, teeth bared, is ready to leap from her star sapphire perch. Here, however, we have a younger and sweeter cat, her paw dangling over a diamond-set ledge with her tail curling around the sapphire, clearly not worried about her next meal. This jewel, along with the other panther jewels offered in this sale (lots 272, 274 and 278) illustrate the endless interpretations allowed by this iconic theme. While Cartier’s vision has developed over time, its Great Cat jewels have maintained the allure that defined their initial inception. As an indispensable category in any comprehensive jewelry collection, these bold and clever panthers exemplify how the classics are always contemporary, and that true glamour is eternal.
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