Cartier is one of the most respected French designers of fine watches and jewellery in the world. This brand was established in Paris by Louis-François Cartier in 1847. Today the luxury brand is part of the Richemont group and operates approximately 200 stores in 125 countries. Since the late 19th Century, Cartier is known for its extravagant yet natural floral designs, made of platinum and gold and encrusted with beautiful diamonds and other precious stones. Flora always captured Cartier’s imagination. Explore Cartier’s flora featuring both antique and recent flowers from their collection.
In this bold Retro lilac clip brooch, the 3.5 – 4.5 mm gemstones reflect in the flower cones, thereby adding to their lustre; the clip brooch contains five pink sapphires, set in gold and nine natural blue sapphires, set in white gold. The origin of these steely blue sapphires is the Yogo Gulch in the US State of Montana. This mine was called the “English Mine”, as it was purchased by Brits in 1899. During World War II, Montana sapphires were heavily mined for their industrial abrasive and for cutting purposes but, as you can see in this gorgeous jewel, Montana sapphires also have an incredible brilliance and an even colour, which they maintain in artificial light. Cartier’s patented double clip is a safe and comfortable system to wear the lilac with as a brooch; pinned onto a lapel or collar, or attached to a belt, hat or handbag. Fastened on a chain, it could be the perfect pendant.
A royal touch… The Queen’s Cartier Flower Spray
In 1904 Cartier received its first appointment as official purveyor to King Edward VII of England, who referred to Cartier as “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.
Pictured is HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh – 1949 with Prince Charles – wearing a clip brooch by Cartier, comparable to the Lilac. It’s a different kind of flower but set with similar pink and blue sapphires, with the same leaves and stems. This brooch was presented by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to HRH Princess Elizabeth, as a birthday gift in 1945. Links: Royal Jewels & Dress for the Occasion A special exhibition for the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, 2006.
Syringa (Lilac) is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family, native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia and commonly cultivated in temperate zones elsewhere. Lilacs can be white, pale yellow, pink or burgundy, but the specific pale purple mauve colour is known as lilac after this flower. The flowers themselves only grow on older branches of a plant, and the bushes can live for hundreds of years. Purple lilacs have an utterly captivating fragrance, used in many perfumes. The flowers are edible and superb in cocktails.
In The Language of Flowers, the purple lilac is the symbol of first love. The further symbolism associated with the lilac is beauty, pride, innocence, but also mourning and spirituality.