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Flora
&
Fauna

The Cartier
Flora & Fauna

Flora and fauna are part of the foundations of Cartier style. These two great themes are the subject of an in-boutique experience that will invite you to discover how the Maison captures the beauty of nature and expresses it through the mastery of our craftsmen. At Cartier there is nothing sentimental or insipid about representations of the natural world. They are imbued with the same energy that animates the rest of our jewellery collections: a vision of femininity as strength with a free spirit. They symbolise a wild nature, reflecting their wearers and delivering a powerful message. 

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Exploring a
Wild nature

The Maison’s choice of flowers is distinct: half animal, half botanical, they are sharp and scandalous, from thistles and cacti to audacious orchids and palms.     Its animals are wild and untamed predators: the panther, the crocodile, the snake, chimera creatures from distant and imaginary lands.     Cartier's interpretation lies in the twist of the stem or petals, the tension of the animal’s silhouette – always moving between realism, stylisation and abstraction. 

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Capturing vitality between
naturalism & abstraction
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Brought to life

It was Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s legendary creative director from 1933 to the 1970s, who challenged our designers and artisans to create ever more realistic jewellery. They began to innovate and combine their skills, taking a sculptural approach to volume with an emphasis on colour, fluid lines and movement. Animals real and fantastic were added to the Maison’s bestiary through this bold new approach, vibrating with life to assert their dynamic nature.

Infinite creative possibilities

Mastering volume
PANTHÈRE DE CARTIER RING
Mastering volume

Cartier crystallizes the panther’s energy through muscles, features, volumes and pose to form a dense, sculptural design. The Maison is searching for the animal’s original truth: its ferocity, its raw instinct. The design epitomizes the animal’s essence through the vision of a tribal, unisex jewel.

SHAPING JOY
KINGFISHER BROOCH, 1967, CARTIER LONDON
SHAPING JOY

The creative spectrum is infinite: it offers a wide range of shapes and attitudes, allowing the Maison’s clients to recognize themselves within an expressive repertoire.

Iconic Imprints
INDOMPTABLES DE CARTIER BRACELET – WHITE GOLD, ONYX, EMERALDS, DIAMONDS
Iconic Imprints

Graphic black and white markings define many powerful pieces. Stripes, as well as more geometric scale shapes, can evoke the animal in many creative ways.

THE “TREMBLING” SETTING TECHNIQUE
DRAGONFLY BROOCH, 1953, CARTIER COLLECTION
THE “TREMBLING” SETTING TECHNIQUE

In the 1950s the Maison adopted this technique to animate the wings of a dragonfly brooch or open and close the petals of precious flowers. Flora and fauna come to life by becoming fully articulated with swiveling stems, unfurling trees and slithering snakes.

[SUR]NATUREL necklace
[SUR]NATUREL NECKLACE, ROSE GOLD 750/1000, GRAY MOTHER-OF-PEARL, CORAL, AND DIAMONDS TOTALING 23.37 CARATS

Abstract approaches

As well as lifelike renderings, the Maison creates stylised interpretations of nature - inspired by the materials themselves.

Masters of Savoir-faire

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sculpture

How to evoke the movement, the life force of an animal or a voluptuous flower? ​ The sculptor's role is to give volume to the piece, bringing it to life. A sculpture is first rendered from a block of wax, remaining as close as possible to the design, before then being cast in precious metal.

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Glyptics

Cartier has always explored and enriched its repertoire of hard stones, expanding into a creative universe with a naturalistic predilection for flora and fauna. In 2010, glyptics - or the art of engraving precious or hard stones - came to Cartier's ateliers. One of the last masters of the art was integrated into the team, with the mission to pass this savoir-faire down to young apprentices.

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Jewellery setting

Introduced in Cartier jewellery in the early 1980s, enabled the Maison to design a diverse selection of expressions inspired by animals. The impact was phenomenal. Jewellers were able to work directly with wax, a material much more malleable than metal, to give pieces their shape and thus the craftsman came ever closer to reality.

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Rare Crafts

Ancestral technical and creative techniques play their part in depicting flora and fauna. Gold beads, Etruscan granulation, cloisonné enamel, straw and wood marquetry, each one reinvents the animal or plant motif.

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A Cartier moment

These creations require a savoir-faire and technical mastery that only a few artisans at Cartier can demonstrate. The Maison invites you to experience it live during this series of in-boutique craftsmanship sessions.
Free Spirits and
The maison Cartier

Flora & Fauna lovers: join the Maison’s free spirits. From the very beginning, flora and fauna have attracted generations of iconic characters who recognise themselves in these pieces. The most emblematic of all: Mexican actress María Félix, who commissioned her snake necklace in 1968. A fully articulated and highly realistic piece that shines with a powerful presence thanks to a succession of diamonds as well as red, green and black enamel scales mounted on platinum. Supple and mobile, it owes its incredible fluidity to a miniature version of a pin support system which Cartier borrowed from the aeronautics industry. The Panthère also counts some strong personalities amongst her devotees. She has complemented the singularity of the Duchess of Windsor, Daisy Fellowes and Juliette Greco… Today their legacy is joined to Maria Carla Boscono, Annabelle Wallis, Ella Balinska, Chang Chen, Yasmeen Sabri and Monica Bellucci.

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Odyssée de Cartier: Chapter 1 - Jeanne Toussaint

Locations & dates

Flower
GENÈVE Jun 30 - Jul 23

Boutique Cartier Geneva Rue du Rhône 35 1204 Geneva GE Switzerland

Flower
Barcelona OCT 6 - OCT 15

Boutique Cartier Barcelona Paseo de Gracia, 82 08008 Barcelona Spain

Flower
Düsseldorf Oct 31 - Nov 21

Boutique Cartier Düsseldorf Königsallee, Steinstraße 1-3 40212 Düsseldorf Germany

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Protecting the natural world

The natural world is a source of inspiration and a beauty to protect for the Maison. Cartier supports its conservation through responsible sourcing and production, in tandem with programmes that support biodiversity, healthy eco systems and a number of communities around the globe who play an important role in protecting the planet.
Copyrights

Kingfisher brooch, Cartier London, 1967. Studio Gérard © Cartier Dragonfly brooch, 1953, Cartier Collection. Vincent Wulveryck, Collection Cartier © Cartier [Sur]naturel necklace, rose gold 750/1000, gray mother-of-pearl, coral, and diamonds totaling 23.37 carats. Audrey Dufer © Cartier Odyssée de Cartier: Chapter 1 - Jeanne Toussaint © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s. © Photograph by Snowdon / Trunk Archive. © Richard Gummere/New York Post Archives/YP Holdings, Inc. / via Getty Images. Paul Tissandier © Archives Cartier Paris. © Boris Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet. © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s. Henry Clarke © Vogue/ Condé Nast archive / via Getty images

Flora & Fauna
Panther landing page