Today I was visiting Prague to see the new Cartier exhibition the ‘Power Of Style’.
It has been a while that we had the last Cartier exhibition in Europe, so I can only urge everyone who is interested in the history of the brand, to visit this exhibition.
My friends and I were absolutely blown away with the collection presented here, in this stunning castle.
Compared the the exhibition in Beijing, there were more watches and clocks presented.
At the same time, it is a unique opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The last two Cartier exhibitions were in Beijing and San Francisco and I have a feeling that the next one will not be in Europe.
May be one of the most interesting watches was probably the Tortue minute repeater wristwatch.
Cartier Paris, 1928
18K yellow gold case, 2.99 x 3.27 cm and leather strap. Interesting is the engraving on the back of the case:
X.M. AUDIBERT UNION CLUB NEW YORK CITY
This extremely rare wristwatch includes one of the most sophisticated complications:
the minute repeater mechanism that strikes the hours, the quarters and the minutes when the repeating slide is pushed.
Cartier did, for their ‘Collection Privée Cartier Paris’, a re-release of this watch, in a slightly larger case and a small second counter at 6 ‘o’clock. The caliber 909MC was visibly thru the back of the CPCP version.
This platinum Tank Wristwatch, which looks to me like a Tank Normale, with bracelet was a real eye catcher. The watch dates back from 1927 and has the following case dimensions: 3.1 x 2.3 cm
The Tonneau Wristwatch
This is a really old one from 1908, the watch was designed in 1906! It’s amazing that Cartier has such an early version in heir own private collection.
Yellow gold case 3.75 x 2.6 cm and sapphire cabochon. Leather strap. This watch also has a monogram on the back of the case. Sold to Countess von Hohenfelsen, the morganatic wife of Grand Duke Paul of Russia, and one of Cartier’s most important clients.
And the last one I mention is the Santos Dumont. The watch where it all started with and that we have seen over the years in many variations and sizes.
This is a model from 1915, with the following dimensions 3.49 x 2.47 cm. Yellow gold, pink gold and sapphire cabochon. Leather strap.
Especially in the early years Cartier, the brand was very famous for jewellery and all kinds of luxury objects. Franco Cologni and Ettore Mocchetti gave an excellent overview of Cartiers objects in the book,
MADE BY CARTIER.
At the Power Of Style there is an immense collection and I mention just a few, to give an idea.
Cartier Paris, 1931
Modified baguette-cut diamond
The back of the lid engraved with 20 signatures such as «Coco» for Coco Chanel, “Misia” for Misia Sert, “Fellowes” for Daisy Fellowes, “Vera” for Vera de Bosset, “Peggy” for Peggy Guggenheim, “Etienne” for Etienne de Beaumont, inside the case “Cécile” for Cécile Sorel, “Elsie” for Elsie de Wolfe, “Johnnie” for Prince Jean-Louis de Faucigny-Lucinge, and other friends unfortunately impossible to identify today.
Sold to the Baron Adolph de Meyer, famous
Dimensions of the case: 1.10 x 7.75 x 7.25 cm
Vanity case with Panther
Cartier Paris, 1928
Gold, platinum, black enamel, rose-cut diamonds, onyx cabochons (panther)
Carved emeralds, translucent green enamel and calibré-cut rubies (cypresses)
Two carré-cut emeralds and a baguette-cut diamond (thumb-piece)
The interior is fitted with a mirror, with two compartments: one for powder, the other for cigarettes.
The catalogue has over 300 pages and is a gorgeous hardbound coffee table book.
The Power of Style
Text by Eva Eisler, Rony Plesl, Pierre Rainero and Pascale Lepeu
US Price: $49.95
CAN Price: $58.00
UK Price: £23.00
ISBN: 978-2-08-020075-4 (2-08-020075-5)
When in Prague, there are of course a lot of other things to do.
The city is beautifully renovated and has many galleries (glass art too), museums and grand café’s. When I am in Prague, l always take a walk along the Vltava river
to visit the famous Grand Café Slavia, located at Smetanovo nábřeží 2, across from the National Theatre.
Café Slavia opened in 1881 (the same year as the theatre actually) and the café became a meeting place of artists and intellectuals, which it still is. Excellent place for a light lunch or a drink later in the afternoon.
The exhibition and the city itself won’t disappoint.