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  • Harry Fane

Flapper Beauties


One of the rarest necklaces made by Cartier Paris in the early 1920s was sold this afternoon in Paris for approx $ 550,000 (against an estimate of $ 80-100,000). This necklace mirrored another very similar necklace which was sold privately about three years ago. The only real difference was the one sold today had been radically shortened and the extra links are seemingly lost. When compared to the other, this one seems very truncated and does not have the elegance of the longer version. It would be possible to write an entire paper about this ‘sautoire’ but this is not the place. However, it is worth pointing out how the brilliance of the Cartier designers conceived these two long and simple necklaces. It is quite reasonable to suggest the colour combinations were influenced by ancient Egyptian jewellery (see below) and I am sure someone cleverer than I will explain where the design of the actual pendant originates. It is clearly quite ‘tribal’ in origin. But this was created right at the height of the Ballet Russes mania in Paris which influenced so much of the fashion and jewellery worlds of the early 1920s towards the exotic, Oriental and tribal. The long, slender length of this necklace was, of course, made to match the tall and especially slender looks of the ‘flapper’ girls. I wonder who wore either of these stunning creations…




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