Canberra | Australia
From the moment that monsieur Louis-François Cartier founded the luxury jewellery brand in 1847, Cartier gained the instant reputation of being one of the finest jewellers in the world. Over its 171 years history, this reputation has never left the brand, with some arguing that its reputation is stronger than it ever was. The name itself conjures up images of luxury, craftsmanship, wealth and beauty.
No more so is the exceptional craftsmanship, design and timelessness evident than with the new Cartier Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. This dazzling display of some of the worlds finest pieces of haute jewellery takes the visitors ‘from royal style to Hollywood glamour’.
The opening of this extraordinary exhibition was marked with a black-tie gala dinner that saw an exclusive list of celebrities, dignitaries and VIPs attend the special preview in style. The Academy-Award nominated Australian actress Naomi Watts commented:
“It’s fantastic to be in Canberra to see this gorgeous exhibition. It’s a beautiful show full of history and style that all Australians must see.”
This exceptional exhibition consists of more than 300 pieces that include exquisite brooches, tiaras, necklaces, watches and ornaments. Also included in the exhibition are rarely seen archival drawings, ephemera and photographs. Co-curated by Margaret Young-Sánchez, formerly Chief Curator of Denver Art Museum and the NGA, the collection’s contents have been contributed by private collectors, museums, institutions and also consists of pieces from the Cartier Collection.
Cartier: The Exhibition includes Grace Kelly’s engagement ring, Elizabeth Taylor’s ruby and diamond necklace as well as the iconic Cartier London Halo tiara that was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, on her wedding day. This exceptional piece was made by Cartier in 1936, is 3 x 18 cm and consists of diamonds set in platinum. The tiara has been lent by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the exhibition.
Gerard Vaughan, the director of the NGA noted: “This exhibition is the most outstanding collection of important jewels Australia has ever seen and is ever likely to see again. This is an unmissable opportunity to see masterpieces of this craftsmanship and quality up close.” The exhibit contains multiple pieces that have been lent to it by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Two other highlights from the generous contribution include the exquisite Indian Tiara, owned by The Duchess of Gloucester, and a brooch that was owned by Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. This unique piece is adorned with one of the most impressive pink diamonds in the world.