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

With his lively, inquiring mind, Louis Cartier loved to collect antique and exotic objects. He drew on these to recreate the flavor and decorative style of their distant worlds on accessories such as vanity cases and cigarette cases. They showed some of the influences from other epochs and other continents that also distinguish his jewelry: ancient Egypt, China, India and the Arabic-Persian world. With extraordinary flair and technical expertise, Cartier workshops reinvented a more beautiful world.

Persian cigarette case


Platinum, nephrite, rose-cut diamonds, sapphire cabochons, black enamel.
The center with a Persian miniature.
Louis Cartier was a keen collector who owned a noteworthy collection of Persian miniatures.
This sixteenth-century Persian miniature was part of the firm’s stock of apprêts.
The term apprêts at Cartier referred to a stock of fragments from disassembled jewelry, watches,
and other objects, including ancient items from Persian, Indian, Chinese, and Egyptian art.

6.05 x 9.32 x 1.83 cm

Egyptian vanity case


Yellow gold, platinum, mother-of-pearl carved with hieroglyphs, antique blue Egyptian faïence, coral, lapis lazuli, onyx, rose-cut diamonds, black enamel, leather cord, interior sliding downward with a folding mirror, a small gold and tortoiseshell comb, and two covered powder compartments (one with lipstick holder).

The Egyptian faïence figure, possibly Bes, dates from the Ptolemaic period, probably the last 300 years BC.

9.25 x 4.47 x 2.02 cm (case)

Make-up box


Yellow gold, platinum, rose-cut diamonds, black and cream enamel.

The center with a Persian plaque of polychrome enamel (flowers and birds).

3.24 x 3.05 cm

Day and Night
vanity case


Yellow gold, platinum, two mother-of-pearl plaques with a daytime and a nighttime landscape, a ruby half-cabochon (rising sun) and a sapphire cabochon (moon), gems, hardstone, nephrite, carnelian, baguette- and rose-cut diamonds, black enamel.

The interior fitted with a mirror, two covered compartments, a lipstick holder, and a place for a comb.

The landscapes are attributed to Vladimir Makowsky. Makowsky (1884–1966) was a Russian who moved to Paris where he specialized in recreating chinoiserie of lacquer and hardstone.

2.00 x 9.30 x 5.30 cm

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