The Hermitage and Cartier

A cabinet with a clock from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Alexander Koksharov State Hermitage Museum, 2021
A cabinet with a clock from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Alexander Koksharov State Hermitage Museum, 2021

The Hermitage and Cartier present an exhibition of restored masterpieces
Five years of “friendship between the houses” of the Hermitage and Cartier: the Russian Museum and a French jewelry company have created a unique restoration program.

Jewelry masterpieces from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum are shown in the armorial hall of the Winter Palace, surrounded by congenial jewelry Cartier created the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. The jewelry house stood at the origins of Art Deco, became its symbol and synonym.

The Hermitage and Cartier
Корсажная брошь. 1913. Платина, бриллианты, резной горный хрусталь. Фото Marian Gérard, Collection Cartier

Today, interest in this style, which harmoniously combined architecture and applied art, painting and industrial design, is experiencing a rebirth. The first exhibition “The Art of Cartier” was held in the Hermitage almost three decades ago, over the past years, several generations of viewers have changed.

Since 2016, the Hermitage and Cartier have annually presented to the public one museum item, restored by the Hermitage restorers with the support of the jewelry house.

The Hermitage and Cartier
Arabian lamp made of rock crystal from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Andrey Terebenin State Hermitage Museum, 2020

The pilot was a crystal lamp, carved in the X-XI centuries from rock crystal by craftsmen from the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it came to Europe; later, Italian jewelers made a stand for the lamp and a gold frame decorated with polychrome enamels.

Cartier has been using rock crystal extensively since 1910. A rhyme to oriental art was a pendant with faunus profiles and two sapphire cabochons surrounded by diamonds.Since 2016, the Hermitage and Cartier have annually presented to the public one museum item.

Indian aroma from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Andrey Terebenin State Hermitage Museum, 2020
Indian aroma from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Andrey Terebenin State Hermitage Museum, 2020

In 2017, with the support of Cartier, the golden fragrance box was restored, decorated with large emeralds, rubies and pearls. A vessel from the treasury of the Mughals came to St. Petersburg among the gifts of the ruler of Iran, Nadir Shah, to the court of the Empress Anna Ioannovna. Catherine II appreciated the fragrance box – now one of the symbols of its entire eastern collection.

Jacques Cartier visited India and the Persian Gulf countries in 1911-1912 and became one of the maharajas ‘ favorite jewelers. The famous Tutti Frutti set enters into a dialogue with the fragrance-a bracelet and two brooches with carved diamonds, emeralds and rubies, a necklace with a pendant and two brooches with clips in the Indian style.

The Hermitage and Cartier
Jadwiga Jagiellonka’s casket from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Sergey Soloviev State Hermitage Museum, 2020

In 2018, the box of Jadwiga Jagiellonka (1533) was restored. It was part of the dowry of the daughter of the Polish King Sigismund I of the Jagiellonian dynasty. He came to Russia after the 1711 wedding of Peter I’s son Tsarevich Alexei and Sophia Charlotte of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel as a dowry of the princess, who was a descendant of Jadwiga.

It rhymes with the elegant intricate Cartier things-a pendant with a girl’s figure made of gold (is it the same Jadwiga?), a ring and bracelet with large emeralds, as well as a stylish gold nesseser decorated with sapphires.

The Hermitage and Cartier
Field Marshal’s baton from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Sergey Soloviev State Hermitage Museum, 2020

In 2019, the restoration of the field Marshal’s baton of Alexander II, created by his order in 1878 by the St. Petersburg jeweler Julius Keibel, was completed. In the twentieth century, this item traveled around the world until it was auctioned by Christie’s. In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin handed the baton to the Hermitage.

The company of the Russian relic consists of two brooches with a diamond-lined Arc de Triomphe in Paris, created by Cartier in 1919. A jewelry box, a cigarette case, and a compact box speak equally to them. All three are decorated with the Russian coat of arms. Perhaps they are made for Russian customers.

A cabinet with a clock from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Alexander Koksharov State Hermitage Museum, 2021
A cabinet with a clock from the Hermitage collection. Photo by Alexander Koksharov State Hermitage Museum, 2021

In 2020, the restoration of the cabinet with a clock of German work from the beginning of the XVIII century, decorated with ivory and tortoiseshell, was completed. It comes from the Stroganov collection. Around it are a Louis XIV cup-shaped clock with a ring dial, decorated with colored enamels and diamonds, and a thermometer clock decorated with guilloche enamel, as well as a parure with a comb with large amethysts from the middle of the XIX century.

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