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Art Deco Jewelry Buying Guide: Cartier Bracelets, Evening Bags, and Timepieces

The Art Deco period of the 1920s and 30s was an exciting time for fashion and jewelry. Coco Chanel introduced her classic two piece suits that are still worn by fashionable women all over the world today, and famous jewelry designers such as Cartier created some of their most influential pieces of jewelry and accessories, including bracelets, handbags, and timepieces such as the “mystery clock.”

Art Deco Jewelry Lot 631

Lot 631: Art Deco Agate and Diamond Pendulette, Cartier, France, Est. $15,000-20,000


Art Deco Jewelry Lots 624-625

Art Deco Jewelry by Cartier: Lot 624:  Platinum and Diamond Bracelet, Est. $40,000-50,000 and Lot 625: Platinum, Onyx, and Diamond Lorgnette, Est. $15,000-20,000

Great Depression? Not for Art Deco Jewelry

One would have thought that jewelry would take on a more conservative and understated style after the financial crash of 1929, but this simply wasn’t the case. Fashionable American and European women of the 30s wore diamond and gem-set bracelets of geometric design either alone or layered upon the wrist. Diamond sautoirs, plaque brooches and dress clips adorned dresses, and long cascading earpendants were all the rage.

Tick Tock… the Cartier Mystery Clock

The Art Deco period gave us much more than just fabulous jewelry – many quintessential accessories from this period are just as coveted.

With the introduction of the “Mystery Clock,” Cartier established themselves as a designer of fine timepieces as well as jewelry. Made from carved hardstones such as jade, onyx or agate, the clocks shine with enamel and gem-set accents. The “mystery” stems from the invisible movement and the diamond hands that appear to float within rock crystal.

Diamonds in Her Eyes

If a woman needed eyewear to accompany her evening gown, she would wear a diamond encrusted lorgnette that with the simple push of a button would unfold into a pair of reading glasses.

Lady’s evening bags in the Art Deco period were made from beautiful silk brocades and printed tapestries embellished with gold, enamel and gemstones. Two Cartier evening bags, a Cartier lorgnette, and a variety of fine Art Deco jewelry and accessories are featured in the upcoming Fine Jewelry Auction on September 13th.

Our public preview is September 11th and 12th in our Boston Gallery. Register to attend a Fine Jewelry Clinic this weekend.


Consider Reading : Rare Art Deco Jewelry by Marie Zimmermann


Art Deco Jewelry Lots 619-620

Cartier Evening Bags: Lot 619: Vintage Silk Brocade Evening Bag, Est. $800-1,200; Lot 620: Art Deco 18kt Gold, Enamel, and Satin Evening Bag, Est. $1,500-2,000


2 thoughts on “Art Deco Jewelry Buying Guide: Cartier Bracelets, Evening Bags, and Timepieces

  1. I have made numerous research on a beautiful Art Deco link bracelet with no markings but CARTIER, I don’t believe it to be an original. It is truly an old piece, well made of 14 kt yg with 3 large cabochon citrine and 6 onyx rondelle links. is there any cataloque that shows Cartier’s work of the Art Deco Period.
    Thank you very much. If you do not reply to my email I will understand.
    you have better things to do. Josette

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