As a longstanding icon, and as the signature animal of the house, there’s no denying the importance of this majestic beast to Cartier, having first made its appearance back in 1914, its fur the inspiration for the setting of gems on a wristwatch. With the arrival of Jeanne Toussaint (herself nicknamed ‘La Panthère’), she worked closely with Louis Cartier and created exquisite pieces for the house, from powder boxes to cigarette cases and even bag clasps in the shape of a prowling panther, before moving on to jewellery pieces like bracelets, brooches and necklaces for the likes of the Duchess of Windsor who completed her collection with 3 beautifully commissioned pieces.
And after you’re done watching the short animation detailing the 100 year history of the panther at Cartier, you’ll be better able to appreciate the over 50 new jewellery pieces created to mark its centenary, from rings to brooches and necklaces to earrings and bracelets.
Take this exquisite piece, for instance. Requiring some 330 hours of meticulous craftsmanship, it depicts the panther prowling on the great dome of the Grand Palais, the delicate white gold lattice intricately adorned with diamonds, emeralds and rock crystals. The panther’s ‘fur’ comprises diamonds and onyx, each specially cut and fitted to give it ‘life’, which is only something you’ll be able to experience if you were to see it in person. Commanding, assertive, yet feminine, this one’s for the woman who lives life to the fullest with an eye always set on the finer details.
And then there are the more playful pieces, a touch of mischief without lacking in grace. Featuring the panther ‘wrapped’ around itself (the bracelet and the ring featured at the top), along with the bracelet at the bottom which shows clearly the ‘fur’, its 3D body clearly showing off its graceful lines and muscular body.
And then there’s my personal favourite, the architectural and futuristic ring that features a panther head carved out of solid gold. Sitting beautifully on your finger with your own skin colour as a stark contrast to the chiseled precious metal, the piercing eyes (emeralds for the eyes with a touch of onyx for the nose) the perfect embellishments to this majestic piece. And it’s a piece of panther legacy I wouldn’t mind having in my own collection.
You can view the over 50 pieces for yourself online via Cartier, with detailed descriptions, image close-ups and prices in SGD accompanying each piece. Or head down to any Cartier boutique for your close encounter with this magnificent beast and experience its ‘fur’ for yourself.
Images & Video: Cartier
YOU SHOULD SEE: Cartier Panthère Collection
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YOU SHOULD SEE: Cartier Jeanne Toussaint Asymmetric Clutch