La collection Cartier - Historical and Exceptional pieces of la Maison Cartier

In the Crazy Twenties, women won a new degree of freedom. Wearing make-up and smoking in public became common. For these progressive women, Cartier created Vanity cases called "Nécessaires". They contained one or two compartments for powder or make-up, a comb and sometimes a compartment for cigarettes. These objects also offered a perfect surface for highly elaborate and valuable decoration. The jeweler put all his talent into them and created some dazzling pieces.

Panther vanity case


Yellow gold, platinum, black enamel, rose- and baguette-cut diamonds, emeralds, rubies, onyx cabochons, green enamel.

The interior fitted with a mirror, a lipstick, a covered powder compartment, and a cigarette compartment with gold openwork retaining clip.

This item is part of a series of cases inspired by Georges Barbier’s drawings of panthers, dogs, and gazelles. Another case decorated with greyhounds belonged to Elma Rumsey, Pierre Cartier’s wife.

10.85 x 5.5 x 1.75 cm

Large vanity case

Cartier London, commissioned in 1935

9 karat yellow gold, platinum, round old-cut diamonds, black enamel.

The top with the monogram BG.

Interior fitted with a mirror and four compartments, including a covered compartment for cigarettes.

Commissioned by Countess Granard (1883–1972), daughter of the financier and philanthropist Ogden Mills

15.2 x 8.5 x 2.3 cm

Egg vanity case


Yellow gold, platinum, baguette-, brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, tortoiseshell.

The center applied with initial L.

Interior with a powder compartment with Plexiglas®-cover, a cigarette compartment with gold openwork retaining clip and a mirrored cover. Sold to Lady Lydia Deterding.

11.13 x 8.22 x 5.85 cm

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