Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 654. Pair of gem set and diamond pendent earrings, ‘Tarquin’.

Property of a Lady


Pair of gem set and diamond pendent earrings, ‘Tarquin’

Auction Closed

November 8, 06:50 PM GMT


60,000 - 120,000 CHF

Lot Details


Property of a Lady

Pair of gem set and diamond pendent earrings, ‘Tarquin’, Cartier

Each designed as a stylized panther pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds, with buff-top onyx spots and a pear-shaped emerald eye, supporting a fringe decorated with drop-shaped rubellite beads, signed Cartier, numbered, French maker’s marks, Swiss assay marks, post and hinged back fittings.

Accompanied by a gemmological report.

The Diamond Menagerie

During its long history, Cartier has offered the world an entire menagerie of highly refined, gem-set animals, from snakes to crocodiles, parrots and flamingoes to ladybugs. No creature, however, is more inextricably linked to the legendary French Maison - and indeed to twentieth century jewellery design - than the panther and its majestic feline cousin the tiger.

Lead-designer Jeanne Toussaint famously developed the first fully three-dimensional panther in 1946 for the Duchess of Windsor. This panther rested defiantly on top of a round cabochon sapphire globe and was decorated with buff-top sapphire spots. Earlier in its history, the panther had already crept into Cartier’s lexicon in the form of a lady’s wristwatch with discreet polished onyx spots and as a two-dimensional feline featured on a cigarette case.

Following her initial sapphire and diamond panther brooch, the Duchess of Windsor commissioned several declinations of the panther as well as the tiger, featuring polished onyx stripes and diamonds of yellow tint, set in yellow gold. In 1956, she acquired a tiger bracelet and requested a matching clip in 1959. Other major jewellery collectors followed suit, and the panther and tiger haven’t left Cartier’s active repertoire ever since. In recent years, Cartier has created a plethora of variations on this theme, incorporating a range of new, innovative shapes and colours as exemplified by lots 654 and 655.

The Duchess of Windsor was equally responsible for the legendary flamingo brooch set with diamonds and calibrated sapphires, rubies and emeralds which Cartier created in 1940. During the 1940s and 1950s, Cartier produced a large number of bird brooches. Over the years, the bird has remained an often-revisited source of inspiration as exemplified by lot 653.