Property Sold for the Benefit of the Carbaugh Family Charitable Trust
Lot 387

Mary Carbaugh loved exquisite jewelry, and her husband, John Edward Carbaugh, loved giving it to her. Theirs was a classic Washington, D.C. love story, meeting in the late 1970s while working on Capitol Hill. John went on to open his own law practice and later served on several presidential task forces during the Reagan administration. They were enmeshed in the social fabric of the city, attending inaugural balls and the sort of glittering events one reads about in the Washington Post.  By 1990 they were married and had moved to Virginia where they raised two daughters, Charlotte and Miller.  The girls recall attending jewelry shows with their devoted mother who, with her discerning eye and appreciation for classic design, was always sure to ask for her daughters’ approval.

The present piece is being sold to benefit the Carbaugh Family Charitable Lead Trust, established by Charlotte and Miller in the spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism they so admired in their mother. “The giving and receiving of jewelry creates a special memory and is a blessing,” explains Miller. “Our hope is that the Trust will also act as a blessing, reaching out to the needs of our communities and beyond.”


Lot 387

Of architectural inspiration, the temple’s dome set with a half moon-shaped diamond weighing approximately .75 carat, accented by trapezoidal- shaped diamonds weighing approximately 1.40 carats and baguette diamonds weighing approximately 2.10 carats, further decorated with smaller variously-cut diamonds weighing approximately .90 carat, signed Cartier, Made in France, numbered 02577 and 7569, with French assay and partial maker’s marks; circa 1930.

Cartier’s temple brooches, first introduced at the famed Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925, rank among the firm’s most iconic designs. Their diminutive size—sweetly at odds with the structures they represent—accentuates their exquisite construction, rendered meticulously and exclusively in diamonds and platinum.  The brooches take on a variety of configurations within the relatively strict codex of the temple form, from Japanese pagodas to neo-classical temples d’amour, to the occasional Taj Mahal. Each example invited the designer to challenge the gem-cutter who, in turn, entrusted the gem- setter to assemble these petits tours de force of jewelry making.  The form also lent itself perfectly to the incorporation of one of Cartier’s greatest innovations, the baguette cut, introduced in 1912. These small diamond rectangles created the columns and capitals that support the brooch’s superstructure: rhomboid lintels leading to half- moon domes terminating in lozenge-shaped finials.  By the 1930s, this battery of cutting styles became a cornerstone of contemporary jewelry design, making the temple brooch a miniature codex for the Art Deco period. 



Lot 387
Property Sold for the Benefit of the Carbaugh Family Charitable Trust
Platinum and Diamond Temple Brooch, Cartier, France
Estimate: 30,000-50,000 USD