Cartier is a luxury brand famous not only for their exceptional jewellery, but also for their extensive collection of silver and gold personal luxury items.
Cartier was founded in 1847 by Louis - François Cartier, and by the 1850s they had already garnered a royal and aristocratic patronage.
Within the infamous Parisian Rue de la Paix flagship premises, Cartier sold not only their exquisite jewellery line but also homewares and decorative items.
Many of the silver and gold items that were created for Cartier were smaller pieces which were for personal use, such as compact mirrors, smoking accessories, and note holders.
Cartier not only stocked a variety of luxury good and home wares such as tableware and serving items, but also offered timepieces, clocks and various object d’art.
Cartier silver was usually made by silversmiths outside of the company for large scale commissions, or individually skilled artisan makers who were able to live up to the brands reputation for both style and quality.
Cartier began using retailer’s marks on their silverware as the 1860s, although their jewellery was not stamped with a mark until much later, in 1899 when their Rue de la Paix premises opened.
The business continued to grow, and Cartier’s success within the early twentieth century meant that the firm found themselves commissioning larger amounts and variations of jewellery, as well as silver and gold items.
It was not uncommon for Parisian retailers to outsource the design and manufacture of their wares to workshops and well established craftsmen, although they maintained creative control and demanded the highest standards in all of the work which bares the Cartier name.
Eventually, Cartier would create exclusive design workshops for their items, although specific items which required expert, specialist or an unusual skillset would still be crafted by outside artist and designers.
Many businesses or luxury ‘houses’ such as Cartier brought together the similar disciplines of the goldsmiths – who would create both gold and silver pieces- the jewellers and the craftsmen who would incorporate these separate elements into individual works of art.
‘Le Muste de Cartier’ is a phrase translating to ‘Cartier; It’s Must Have’ - which not only encapsulated the iconic brand of Cartier, but also became a savvy marketing tagline. This intelligent courting of publicity and high profile clientele has seen the Company maintain its reputation as the epitome of luxury and style in both jewellery and homewares over 150 years.