Lot 395
  • 395

An Iconic Platinum, Colored Stone, Diamond and Enamel 'Tutti Frutti' Bracelet, Cartier, New York

750,000 - 1,000,000 USD
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  • platinum, colored stone, diamond, enamel
The flexible openwork foliate band set with numerous carved emeralds and rubies, accented by onyx beads and faceted rubies, further set with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 6.25 carats, enhanced with black enamel, length 6 7/8 inches, signed Cartier, numbered 4896; circa 1928.


Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary (1984 edition), Hans Nadelhoffer, page 172.


In good condition overall. The emeralds are a slightly light medium green and are quite transparent for the typical carved material. The carved rubies are a medium deep slightly purplish red color and are semi-translucent, and the faceted rubies are a bright medium red and are of good clarity; one with a small chip at a corner. Diamonds are approximately G-I color and VS clarity. Some minor scratching and chipping to the enamel, not apparent when worn. Signed Cartier on the male clasp end and numbered on the reverse of the lattice work near the opposite end.
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

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 three Indian gowns given to her by Mary Curzon, wife of the Viceroy of India. The master jeweler’s necklace succeeded in blending the sumptuous curves and dazzling colors associated with the perceived exoticism of India with the techniques of modern craftsmanship perfected at the House of Cartier. The necklace opened the door to future Royal commissions and became the basis for the firm’s most celebrated foray into jewels of Eastern inspiration. 


In 1911, Pierre Cartier’s brother Jacques ventured to the subcontinent in order to foster an appreciation of Cartier jewels among Indian aristocrats.  Upon observing India’s exotic culture and traditions, Jacques’ business expedition soon developed into an educational journey that would influence how his family firm would design jewels for years to come. He returned to his London workshop teeming with inspiration, incorporating the fulgent colors and rich textures of carved Moghul gemstones into the geometric platinum and diamond mountings crafted at Cartier.  As explained by Hans Nadelhoffer, “Indian rulers [in the early 20th Century] were exclusively interested in Parisian jewelry and had no hesitation in handing over their family treasures for reworking in fashionable European styles.”  The result of this fortuitous marriage of East and West, the tutti frutti style was nothing short of a triumph, enchanting connoisseurs then as it does today over a century later.


The Lauder tutti frutti bracelet is featured in Nadelhoffer’s seminal book, Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary.  Boasting ripe rubies and emeralds interspersed with spherical onyx berries issuing from diamond-set stems, the piece’s organic qualities are balanced by a symmetry that is both elegant and sophisticated.  The focused color palate, absent of sapphires, suggests the piece may have been a special commission.  The telltale zig-zag of black enamel, however, is tantamount to a signature, making this piece at once a masterpiece of Art Deco design and quintessentially Cartier.