GENEVA – Suggestions of a panther motif first appeared at Cartier as early as 1914, but it was Jeanne Toussaint, the enlightened director of Haute Joaillerie between 1933 and 1970, who was responsible for the evolution of the panther creations loved and made fashionable by the Duchess of Windsor. Affectionately called “la Panthère” by Louis Cartier, Toussaint was a revolutionary force in jewellery design. Following the success of the first three-dimensional panther jewel created in 1948 as a commission for the Duke of Windsor, and relying on the design skills of the brilliant Peter Lemarchand, Toussaint oversaw the production of a series of beautiful and varied ‘Great Cat’ jewels for the international jet set. Daisy Fellowes, Princess Nina Aga Khan and Barbara Hutton are just a few of the women who fell under the spell of Cartier’s tigers and panthers in the 1950s and 1960s.
A SUITE OF YELLOW DIAMOND, ONYX, EMERALD AND DIAMOND JEWELS, ‘SHERE KHAN’, CARTIER. COMPRISING A BANGLE, A RING AND A BROOCH SUSPENDING A BRIOLETTE FANCY VIVID YELLOW DIAMOND WEIGHING 5.05 CARATS. ESTIMATE: CHF1,700,000–1,750,000.
This suite of ‘Great Cat’ jewels is named after the tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli’s enemy in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. It comprises a bangle designed as a tiger with an articulated head, a ring designed as a tiger’s head and a brooch designed as a tiger on a branch, with a detachable drop set featuring a fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 5.05 carats.