He even employed gem dealers all over the country (like Imre Schwaiger, a tall Hungarian dealer who was Delhi-based & had great connections with many of the Indian palaces) to let him know whenever they found a particularly beautiful one.
The highest quality emeralds originated from Colombia of course, but like most of the best gem stones in the world, they tended to cross the seas and end up in the gem markets of India where they would be traded between dealers. Some would be engraved (no easy task to do without breaking them as they are so much softer than diamonds), often with floral or leaf motifs, and as an artist himself, it was these intricately carved gemstones that Jacques really loved. After all, they were miniature works of art.
So the final Cartier creation would be a work of art within a work of art – and totally unique. They played perfectly into Cartier’s art deco style too – the hexagonal shape of the naturally occurring crystal was often retained in the finished cut stone. So even if the carved emerald was antique (Jacques’ favourite), the end piece had a modern geometric edge.
Thanks @s_j_phillips for showing me this gorgeous example!
#emeralds #carvedemerald #cartierartdeco #indianjewellery #brooch #cartier #artdecojewelry #jacquescartier #colombianemerald #gemdealer #familyhistory #jewelryhistory