Sotheby’s Offers A Cartier Art Deco Masterpiece In A Dedicated Online Auction

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Gem-Set, Diamond and Enamel ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet, Cartier, estimate $600-800,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.-Sotheby’s announced that thee will offer one of Cartier’s most iconic designs, a Gem-Set, Diamond and Enamel ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet, in a dedicated online auction open for bidding on from 24 – 28 April 2020. This sensational jewel will be offered with an estimate of $600/800,000.

Created almost a century ago, tutti frutti pieces by Cartier are joyous celebrations of texture, form and color that are coveted today as icons of the Art Deco era. The artful arrangement of carved colored stones and diamonds, together with the precise application of black enamel, uniquely illustrate the marriage between Eastern and Western influences on Art Deco jewelry design.

Catharine Becket, Sotheby’s Head of Magnificent Jewels in New York, commented: “In recent weeks, collectors worldwide have participated enthusiastically in our online jewelry sales, and we look forward to presenting a piece of jewelry history in this innovative sales format. While Art Deco designs have long-enchanted jewelry lovers, tutti frutti pieces reign supreme among connoisseurs. The present exquisite example is sure to captivate collectors worldwide.”

Sotheby’s online auctions of jewelry in 2020 have exceeded expectations, achieving a total of $6.1 million (combined estimate $4.1/5.7 million), and with an exceptional 92% of all lots sold. These sales attracted participants from over 30 countries, with 30% of all bidders new to Sotheby’s. This continues a trend observed across all of Sotheby’s global jewelry auctions in 2019 (both live and online), in which more than half of all jewelry buyers placed their bids online.

Cartier produced tutti frutti jewels in a variety of forms, with bracelets widely regarded as the most desirable. All share the hallmark of Moghul-cut colored stones – but each piece is unique. The present example is distinguished by the vibrancy of its gemstones, predominated by rubies, and by the lines of black enamel, applied to just one side, in an echo of the organic asymmetry of the carved gems. The bracelet returns to a more traditional Art Deco aesthetic with its pavé-set diamond clasp, highlighted by onyx triangles and chevron-shaped closures.

Sotheby’s has a distinguished and successful history of selling tutti frutti jewels by Cartier. In 1991, Daisy Fellowes’ Collier Hindou achieved $2.7 million, establishing the world auction record for any tutti frutti jewel by Cartier. In December 2014, a Platinum, Colored Stone, Diamond and Enamel ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet by Cartier circa 1928, from the Collection of Evelyn H. Lauder – sold to Benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – achieved $2.2 million. This remains the auction record for any tutti frutti bracelet by Cartier.

Pierre Cartier’s first foray into the tutti frutti style in 1901 was a necklace for Queen Alexandra who, as the wife of King Edward VII and by extension Empress Consort of India, commissioned a piece to complement three Indian-style dresses. 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 jewels of Eastern inspiration. However, it wasn’t until 1911, when Pierre Cartier’s brother Jacques ventured to India, that this style truly came to life.

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. After being exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, tutti frutti jewels rapidly gained popularity among the most fashionable and discerning collectors of the day, including Mrs. Cole Porter and Daisy Fellowes.

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