Today, there are countless emblematic pieces manufactured by the house, from their instantly recognisable ‘Love’ bangle to their classic ‘Panthère’ collection, and their legendary line of classic elegant ‘Tank’ watches.
Originally intended to be sold as a ‘his and hers’ set, the design was seen by its designer Aldo Cipullo as a permanent accessory that symbolised a committed relationship. This was reinforced by a decision to gift high profile couples the set and recipients included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Shortly after the launch of the Love bracelet, it became quickly comparable to wearing an engagement ring.
At the request of French surrealist artist Jean Cocteau, the ‘trinity’ring was designed by Cartier in 1924. Each of the three interconnected bands was intended to represent a different aspect of a relationship. There have been countless variations made on the classic design, including diamond encrusted or ceramic bands, but originally, white gold represented friendship, yellow gold fidelity, and rose gold true love. With its timeless design, it’s easy to see why the Trinity de Cartier rings are one of the brand’s most enduring jewellery collections.
Fitting in with the glamorous stories of the Cartier and its jewellery, the tale of Cartier’s Santos watch is also an exciting one. Alberto Santos-Dumont was a Brazilian competitive aviator who lived in Paris from the 1890s. Known for his stunts and races in the Paris airspace, Santos was friends with Louis Cartier, one of the three brothers at the helm of the company at the time. Santos commented that pocket watches were impractical mid-flight, and Cartier set out to design him something altogether more useful. The result, in 1904, was the Cartier Santos. A distinctly masculine piece with stronger lines and screw head motifs to the bezel, the design was a significant departure from the house’s lady’s wrist watches within their existing (and very successful) repertoire. The external appearance and overall form of the Santos made it fit for purpose and very well-received.
Lyon & Turnbull's team of jewellery specialists’ extensive knowledge and experience of the current market provides the essential combination for the successful sales of both modern and antique jewellery; from fine Edwardian and Victorian pearls, through classic diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds from the houses of Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari and Tiffany, all the way to the outrageously decadent designs of Grima and the understated, elegant works of Jensen.
Take the first step to selling your jewellery at auction with a free, no-obligation, sales valuation. Contact our team in Edinburgh on 0131 557 8844 and in London on 0207 930 9115.
Lyon & Turnbull’s watch auction and valuations department is a dynamic one with significant expertise, creating diverse watch auctions in the UK with fine, rare, modern and vintage timepieces. In line with the growth of the pre-owned watch market in recent years, we hold six specialist auctions each year, across our Edinburgh and London salerooms.