Review: Cartier and America

by Robyn Hawk on April 19, 2012

and America
by Martin Chapman

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 Stars For The Photos Alone...

...but this isn't just a pretty coffee table book, with Cartier and America, Martin Chapman also feeds your brain.

Chapman comes with a background of curation - for exhibitions at the Legion of Honor and currently for the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Beautifully assembled and stunningly photographed pieces fall into an order much like walking through a museum exhibition with a knowledgeable docent.

Giulio de Blaas' 1929 painting of
Marjorie Merryweather Post and her daughter
wearing the pendant/brooch featured on the cover
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Viewing includes Cartier Original Designs (I only wish that the names of the actual studio designer were included), Cartier Acquisitions (ie the Taylor Burton Diamond) and Cartier Alterations (as with the Taylor Burton Diamond where they changed the setting from a ring to a pendant). All accompanied by the provenance of each piece.

Brilliant - great for reference, inspiration, dreaming and even coffee table viewing...100% worth every penny!

Description from Amazon:

As opulent as the treasures it celebrates, this lavish volume presents Cartier's timeless designs worn by some of the twentieth century s most legendary figures. It s been one hundred years since the House of Cartier opened its doors on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Since then the luxury jeweler has been creating exquisite brooches, bracelets, tiaras, timepieces, and other items including scent bottles, so-called mystery clocks, and handbags many of them specially commissioned by their illustrious patrons.

Readers will see up close Gloria Swanson's bracelets from Sunset Boulevard, Douglas Fairbanks's elegant watch, the Duchess of Windsor's panther brooch, and Grace Kelly's 10.47 carat diamond engagement ring, as well as items owned by Marion Davies, Vivien Leigh, Barbara Hutton, and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Author Martin Chapman offers an in-depth exploration of how Cartier conquered America, from its European birth in 1847 to its arrival on the other side of the Atlantic, and from its whimsical Art Deco creations to the red carpet prominence that linked the name Cartier with fame, wealth, and exclusivity.  In addition to stunning color images of each object, the book features photographs of stars and heiresses wearing their Cartier jewelry. A beautiful volume for fashion aficionados, this trove of jewelry is a tribute to Cartier s ingenuity and unmatched craftsmanship.

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