La Theorie et la Pratique du Jardinage

So this was a pretty exciting discovery. It’s a book on garden design that was lurking on my grandfather’s bookshelf – it dates from 1777!

OK, it may not be immediately obvious how 18th century formal French garden design relates to jewellery but the three Cartier brothers took inspiration from everywhere. It’s clearly a well-loved book that had been in the family for a while by the time my grandfather Jean-Jacques inherited it.

As with so many of the family books, there are little sketches and notes in the margin, or on yellowing scraps of paper tucked between the pages, mainly in the hand of my great-grandfather, Jacques Cartier.

And you can see the similarities between the very symmetrical garden designs and Cartier’s early geometrical jewellery. This 1920s Cartier art deco brooch for example (top left), shares certain elements of the illustrations in the book (oval shaped, scalloped edged, central rounded rectangle), albeit set in rose-cut diamonds rather than hedges and flowers.

It’s not identical to the images in the book of course – my grandfather explained to me that his father and brothers didn’t believe in copying – but they did look to translate into their jewellery the influences and ideas around them (whether from architecture, fabrics, mythology, flowers, animals or, as it turns out, garden design) while always staying true to their very distinct Cartier style.

Would be interested to hear views too.. has anyone seen any other old Cartier creations that are similar to the illustrations here?

#creatingcartier #saturdaystyle #throwback #vintagecartier

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