Cartier Magician: High Jewelry and Precious Objects

Image of Cartier Magician: High Jewelry and Precious Objects (Cartier Magicien Collection)
Release Date: 
November 21, 2016
Reviewed by: 

It is undeniable that few jewelers can rival the likes of the brand Cartier. Yet most readers may not be aware of the unquestionably astounding mechanics, internal design, and workmanship that go into so many of the pieces featured in Cartier Magician: High Jewelry and Precious Objects. What is so blatantly apparent from this stunning monograph is that so many of Cartier’s almost rarely utilized techniques, magical mechanisms, and traits of the brand’s revered heritage have been reimagined and reborn in astounding ways.

In its century and a half of existence, Cartier has catered to royalty of every conceivable sort as well as being a leader when it came to stones, settings, and repurposing jewels their owners had grown tired of. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a trend, so to speak, where grande dames either had their jewels completely redesigned or tuned up, if you will, as they owned jewelry that could be taken apart and worn separately; tiaras transformed to necklaces, and necklaces could be disassembled to be worn as pins and bracelets. This aspect of haute joallier has made a renaissance with this latest collection.

The author in his zeal to explain the physical and technical aspects of these new pieces might have gone a little too far by being too complex with some of his explanations. Chaille tries to illuminate and educate the reader in such detail that it is possible that the reader might get a little lost in the verbiage. One may find some of the descriptions to be a case of too much information or possibly they are just too technically expository and not geared toward a casual aficionado of fine jewelry. That being said, make no mistake: The visuals are everything here, the words merely icing on the cake.

This is a coffee table book extraordinaire that will offer a fantasy that few readers will tactilely experience in real life. In short Cartier Magician is a modern day treasure itself.