Ever since the exotic spots of a panther appeared on a Cartier watch in 1914, the famed jewelry house has forever embraced the power and elegance of the iconic jungle cat.
Photo: N. Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier
The addition of Jeanne Toussaint, a fearless woman in her own right, solidified the panther as Cartier’s when she introduced the full cat in 1919. Coincidentally nicknamed “The Panther” for the exotic skins she wore, Jeanne Toussaint personified that which the animal symbolizes: “freedom, a combination of elegant femininity and the wild and dangerous,” says Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s current director of image, style and heritage, in a Wall Street Journal article. She recognized the power of jewelry and how it influenced those who wore it, which she personally experienced after designing a controversial caged red, white and blue bird brooch during the war in 1940. This stint landed the Maison’s artistic jewelry director in prison for five days by order of the German Army in France.
“L’Oiseau Libéré” ~ 1944
Created by Toussaint and Pierre Lemarchand, the design of the singing bird in an open cage, a symbolic concept of France’s newly restored freedom from the German occupation on August 25th, 1944, and the end of the war.
(Coral, diamonds, lapis-lazuli, platinum & yellow gold)
When the Duchess of Windsor commissioned a brooch featuring the ferocious feline perched atop a cabochon emerald in 1948, Jeanne Toussaint commenced a formidable trend to own one the house’s newly iconic wild animals, as other wealthy heiresses commissioned Cartier to create bejeweled jungle cats of their own.
Panthère clip-brooch, the Duchess of Windsor’s Collection, 1948
Courtesy Cartier Archives
Ever since, the panther has become an ever-evolving figurative motif at Cartier, who crafts a handful of jewelry in its image each year. Over time, the panther has grown from ferocious to playful and cub-like, its personality always exhibiting traits known to the wild animal. As such, I have looked all over to find those Panther pieces that represent the best from Cartier’s most iconic animal to show just how incredibly talented the master jewelers truly are.
Cartier Panther clip brooch, 1949
The Duchess of Windor’s Onyx and Diamond Panther Bracelet, Cartier, Paris, 1952
Snow Panther earrings in white gold with onyx spots, diamonds and emerald drops
Fine Onyx, emerald, sapphire and diamond bangle, ‘Panthère’, Cartier
Cartier Multi-gem and Lapis Lazuli Panther Brooch, circa 1965 – FD Gallery
Cartier Onyx and Diamond Panther Ring – FD Gallery
Cartier Panthére Diamond & Sapphire Bangle
Cartier Biennale Lion Ring – Platinum, one cushion-cut sapphire, onyx spots and snout, emerald eyes, brilliants. Photograph Vincent Wulveryck © Cartier 2012
Panthère de Cartier Earrings
Cartier Diamond and Sapphire Bead Bracelet
Pair of 18 Karat Gold, Diamond and Emerald ‘Panthère’ Pendant-Earclips, Cartier
Cartier Multi-gem and Diamond Panther Brooch, circa 1960
Sapphire and Diamond ‘Panthère’ Wristwatch, Cartier, French, Circa 1985
Cartier Star Sapphire, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Panther Brooch
Two emerald, onyx and diamond rings, ‘Panthère’, Cartier
Cartier Onyx and Diamond Panther Bracelet
Cartier Onyx, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Panther Ring
Cartier Onyx, Emerald and Diamond Panther Earrings
Sapphire and diamond ring, ‘Panthère’, Cartier
Cartier Diamond and Onyx Panther Bracelet
Cartier Panthére Diamond & Sapphire Hoop Earrings – Betteridge
Gem-set and diamond ring, ‘Panthère’, Cartier
Cartier Panthére South Sea Pearl & Gem-Set Bead Necklace – Betteridge
Cartier Panthére Onyx, Emerald and Diamond Earrings
Cartier Panther Ring
Cartier Diamond, Onyx, and Emerald “Panther” Brooch
An Important Diamond and Onyx “Panther” Necklace, by Cartier
Cartier Sapphire and Diamond ‘Panther’ Wrap Bracelet – FD Gallery
Cartier Pasha Skeleton Watch with Panther Decor
Cartier Promenade D’Une Panthere Watch