We went on a road trip!
Last month, Gary, Trina, Joel and I took a day off work, and drove down to Canberra, to see Cartier’s exhibition of historical jewels on display at the National Gallery of Australia. Established in 1847 in Paris, by Louis-François Cartier, Cartier is today an internationally recognised jewellery and watch manufacturer.
Famous for their garland style designs from the early 1900’s, it is of little wonder Cartier became known as the ‘Jeweller to Kings’ – creating tiaras and ornate adornments for aristocrats, socialites and royalty.
Cartier was heralded as a pioneer in the Art Deco style – their early use of minimalist and geometric shapes in their jewellery predated the First World War, and continued well into the 1930s.
During the late 1940’s the panther motif was introduced to their collection and became a quintessential Cartier symbol across their entire range, known as the Panthère de Cartier. From pave sections adorning handbag clasps – mimicking the spots of a panther, to the three-dimensional panther brooch owned by Wallis Simpson (The Duchess of Windsor), the Panthère de Cartier collection has had many famous advocates – and is still going strong today!
Wandering through the exhibition, it was interesting to see how the motifs evolved over the decades, and to see where the designers drew their inspiration from. The archaeological exploration of Egypt, travel of the Royal family to India, and the art of East and Southeast Asia opened up an exotic source of inspiration, which they applied to all sorts of creations – cigarette cases, jewellery, clocks and watches.
Over 300 pieces were on display – a combination of Cartier’s collection and loaned pieces from private collections worldwide. The jewels of Grace Kelly (Later Princess Grace of Monaco), Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Elton John and the Royal family were part of the exhibition.
Before heading back to Sydney, Joel and I stopped at Lerida Estate Winery opposite Lake George, for a late lunch and a glass of their pinot rose. When a winemaker compares the colour of their wine to an Argyle pink diamond, you know they have taste!
Scroll down to see a few more images taken on our journey.