Lot 401
  • 401

Platinum, Carved Colored Stone, Diamond and Pearl 'Tutti Frutti' Bracelet, Cartier

300,000 - 500,000 USD
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  • platinum, ruby, emerald, sapphire, diamond, pearl
The flexible openwork band set with carved rubies and emeralds, accented by cabochon rubies and sugarloaf cabochon sapphires, further set with baguette, old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 7.00 carats, decorated with eight button-shaped pearls measuring approximately 7.0 to 5.8 mm, the clasp completed by an articulated carved emerald drop, length 7 inches, signed Cartier, signature significantly rubbed; circa 1930.


In very good condition, with only minor signs of wear commensurate with age. The rubies are a medium-deep purplish red, moderately to heavily included and translucent. All of them exhibit detailed carvings on the reverse, as well. The carved emeralds are a medium bluish green, moderately to heavily included and translucent, with several examples of surface reaching inclusions. The fluted emeralds on the clasp are slightly more richly saturated and bear a number of surface reaching fractures and chips from wear. The sapphires are a richly saturated, medium-deep slightly violetish blue, lightly to moderately included. The button pearls have a primarily creamy white body color, with some examples exhibiting a slightly more silver color. Medium to good luster, with some very minor cracking visible only under magnification. The diamonds are approximately G-I color, primarily VS clarity with several VVS and SI examples. Signed on the underside of the clasp, near the hanging emerald. Fitted with a safety chain.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Illustrations in the catalogue may not be actual size. Prospective purchasers are reminded that, unless the catalogue description specifically states that a stone is natural, we have assumed that some form of treatment may have been used and that such treatment may not be permanent. Our presale estimates reflect this assumption.

Catalogue Note

Please note that the pearls have not been tested for natural origin.

Cartier’s 'tutti-frutti' designs are a joyous celebration of texture, form and color.  Pierre Cartier designed the first piece in this style in 1901, a necklace commissioned by Queen Alexandra to be worn with a collection of Indian gowns.  The piece succeeded in blending the sumptuous curves and vibrant colors associated with the exoticism of India with modern jewelry making techniques perfected at the House of Cartier.  From this point onward, Cartier’s workshop in England became a sought-after destination for visiting maharajas.

In 1911, Jacques Cartier made his first voyage to India.  Upon observing the vitality of Indian life with its fearless mixture of sounds, experiences, and traditions unknown in the West, he returned to Europe emboldened to incorporate bright, unrelenting colors and textures into his designs.  These robust creations, incorporating carved Moghul gemstones, recall a period of mutual adoration and fascination between the East and West.  As explained by Hans Nadelhoffer, “Indian rulers were exclusively interested in Parisian jewelry and had no hesitation in handing over their family treasures for reworking in fashionable European styles.  Conversely, India’s traditional enamel jewelry with its engraved gemstones became something of a craze in Europe.” Derived from the Indian tradition, carved multi-colored beads and enamel, worn in abundance, quickly gained popularity in the West for the first part of the 20th century.

The present bracelet is a unique illustration of the marriage between Eastern and Western influences in jewelry making.  So rare is the incorporation of pearl accents in the 'tutti-frutti' oeuvre that the design may have been specifically commissioned from Cartier upon the client’s request.  The fluid openwork band overflows with ripe gems, culminating at the clasp with the voluptuous emerald drop gracefully escaping down the wrist.   The delicate mounting allows the rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls to appear as though floating weightlessly on the wrist, their mysterious shapes and subtly varying hues dancing across the bracelet as though borne from a painter’s brush rather than a jeweler’s lathe.   

This bracelet’s allure rests not only with the inherent beauty of the stones, it stems from the artistry that brings the bracelet to life.  It is a superb example of the firm’s innovative craftsmanship and stands as a testament to the rich history of Cartier.