Lot 348
  • 348

Important diamond choker, Cartier, circa 1905

365,000 - 545,000 CHF
bidding is closed


  • diamond, platinum
Designed as a wide open work band of interlaced foliate motifs, millegrain-set with circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, inner circumference approximately 326mm, unsigned, case stamped Cartier, two small diamonds deficient.


Special occasions call for special gifts, particularly when celebrating the wedding anniversary of one of the most prominent couples of the Belle Epoque in Sicily. Presented to Giulia Branciforte, Principessa Lanza di Trabia e di Butera, née Florio (1879-1947) on the occasion of her twentieth wedding anniversary from her husband, Pietro Branciforte, Principe Lanza di Trabia e di Butera (1862-1920), this choker would likely have been purchased from the Cartier shop in Paris, opened in 1899 on the rue de la Paix. The Florio family was one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Italy having built, throughout the 19th Century, an impressive entrepreneurial empire, ranging in activities from shipping, banking  and wine making, to tuna canning, textiles, metal work and chemicals. At the delicate age of fifteen, Giulia married Pietro Branciforte, whose noble roots could be traced back to 13th century Sicily. The couple made for a perfect fin de siècle match. The financial well-being of the House of Trabia and Butera was greatly aided by their union and the sum of five million lira which came with it, an unthinkable fortune for the time.  The money would be well spent and used in the restoration of the Palazzo Butera, located on the Foro Italico facing the Mediterranean Sea, which would become the quintessential meeting place of the elite in Palermo during the period of the Belle Epoque. Giulia, known for great kindness and grace, is remembered for the humanitarian initiatives she pioneered during the two World Wars, and for the support she showed towards the poor. 


Cf: Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza Board of Trustees, The Art of Cartier, page 19 for another example of a belle époque diamond choker by Cartier.