Christie's is selling all lots in this sale as agent for an organization which holds a State of New York Exempt Organization certificate. Seller explicitly reserves all trademark and trade name rights and rights of privacy and publicity in the name and image of Doris Duke. No buyer of any property in this sale will acquire any right to use the Doris Duke name or image. Seller further explicitly reserves all copyright rights in designs or other copyrightable works included in the property offered for sale. No buyer of any property in the sale will acquire the rights to reproduce, distribute copies of, or prepare derivative works of such designs or copyrightable works.
Cartier's Indian Intrigue
The incorporation of Indian influences and gemstones into jewels was one of Cartier's greatest innovations in the Art Deco period. Jacques Cartier first grew enamored of Indian jewels at the turn of the 19th century. As the director of Cartier London, he was exposed to the lavish jewels of the Indian princes who often visited Britain. Jacques himself traveled to India in 1911 in an effort to establish Cartier's reputation among the Indian elite. Over time, he gained their admiration and respect, and the Indian elite entrusted Cartier to re-set and transform their jewels into modern designs, incorporating traditional motifs.
Indian tradition held that gems were a permanent investment. As they were passed from generation to generation, they would constantly be reset and jewels reinvented with old stones. Parisian styles and fashion fascinated the Indian elite of this time, so they were eager to have Cartier reinterpret their family treasures.
At the same time, as travel increased between the two continents, not only did Parisian styles grow in popularity in India, but Indian fashion and design became prevalent in Europe as well. Cartier began to purchase whatever precious gems were available in India, including delicately carved emeralds, sapphires and rubies. Many of these stones were incorporated into Cartier's Tutti Frutti jewels. Fine quality gems cut en cabochon were often used to reinterpret Mughal motifs from art of the Mughal Empire, which merged Hindu and Persian elements.
This bracelet, lot 107, incorporates three of the most valued gems in Indian jewels: emeralds, pearls and diamonds. The richly-saturated cabochon emeralds are the focal point of the bracelet, the bold, geometric plaque, trimmed by diamonds, extends diamond and emerald accents to the simple four-strand pearl bracelet and Art Deco diamond clasp. The bracelet is an excellent example of Cartier's interpretation of Mughal jewels. It is also interesting in the context of Doris Duke's collection as her purchase of the bracelet and clip in December 1934 preceded her first trip to India and the advent of her passion for collecting Mughal jewelry.
In February 1935, Doris Duke married James Cromwell, and the newlyweds spent most of the remainder of the year on their honeymoon in India. It was during this trip that Miss Duke was first captivated by Indian culture, especially the decorative and jeweled arts. The couple bought carpets, ivory carvings, tiles, jade, bronzes, clothing and jewels. Later, Doris collected Indian jewels in abundance, delighting in their heritage as much as in their decorative element. As with all of her jewels, Doris Duke exhibited refined taste in selection as well as the redesign of some pieces to her preference.