Lot 220
  • 220

Fluorite, ivory and agate love bird carving, Cartier, circa 1910

Estimate
8,000 - 12,000 GBP
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Description

  • ivory, garnet, agate, fluorite
Designed as two carved fluorite love birds with circular-cut demantoid garnet eyes, to an ivory perch and carved agate base, height approximately 157mm, unsigned, partially numbered to base, probably by Varangoz for Cartier, fitted case stamped Cartier.

Literature

Cf; Judy Rudoe, Cartier 1900-1939, British Museum Press 1997, page 113, for examples of similar love bird ornaments by Varangoz.
Cf; Reflections of Elegance, Cartier Jewels from the Lindemann Collection, New Orleans Museum of Art, 1988, p.82, plate XXIII, for a similar example of a hard stone love bird ornament.
Cf; L'Art de Cartier, Paris, Musée du Petit Palais, 1989, p. 59, for a discussion of Cartier's Russian style, plate XXI ,for another similar example of a hard stone love bird ornament.

Condition

Numbered 091. Demantoid garnets bright and lively. Fine carving. Fluorite pale green, with variations in colour and visible inclusions throughout, fractures and surface reaching fissures. Areas of dirt lodged in crevices of carving and in fractures to surface. One small area of slight damage to agate. Could benefit from careful professional clean. Accompanied by fitted case stamped Cartier, worn to outside, silk interior worn and damaged.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Please note that colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's. We do not guarantee, and are not responsible for any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the property. We do not guarantee that watches are in working order. 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. Prospective buyers should also refer to refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue, in particular to the Notice regarding the treatment and condition of gemstones and to the Notice regarding import of Burmese jadeite and rubies into the US.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

At the turn of the nineteenth century fine hard stone carvings of this kind were a particular Russian speciality. Following visits by Pierre Cartier to St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1904 and 1905, lapidaries including Svietchnikov and Karl Woerffel (a major supplier to Fabergé) were engaged to begin producing Cartier‘s own hard stone animals.  Cartier’s attempt to respond to domestic taste and appeal to aristocratic Russian clients by engaging with Russian styles is also evident in their production of clocks and accessories and use of guilloché enamel in the same period. This proved successful and they continued to produce carvings well into the 1920s. The love bird motif first appeared in Cartier’s work in 1881 and was popular enough to appear in jewels, as well as ornaments, throughout the early 20th century. Probably produced by the Varangoz workshop, approximately 30 variants of this model were recorded in the Paris stock books between 1907 and 1930.