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  • Harry Fane

Simple pleasures

This 18kt yellow gold bangle made by Cartier, London in 1973 made a very strong price today at Bonhams London. Estimated at £ 6-8,000, it sold, with all the premiums, for just over £ 40,000 or US $ 57,500.

In 1973, Cartier, London was at the very end of it's life as a Cartier family-owned and independent company. The last Cartier member, Jean-Jacques Cartier, to run a Cartier House was in an ever more perilous situation which had been brewing since Cartier, New York had been sold in 1963 followed by Cartier, Paris soon after. He had held on in spite of a world that was rapidly changing and where the young were turning their backs on the high-end jewellery Cartier was so famous for. Their attempt to stay current was not a success and the end became inevitable.

This plain gold bangle, designed to mirror the shape of a TV, is a testament of Cartier's last attempt to make modern jewellery. At the time, according to Francesca Brickell, 'it seemed that in an era of jeans and digital watches, understated elegance was no longer fashionable'. Cartier, as it had once been, was a dying swan.

Only now, is this jewellery fullfilling its potential. Chic, understated, unusual and from Cartier, London which is rapidly becoming as revered as Cartier, Paris, this bracelet has finally been accepted and embraced.

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