ART DECO SILVER BOX BY CARTIER, CIRCA 1925

SOLD

A polished silver box accented with silver straps and buckles; in sterling silver, with assay mark; in original Cartier red leather box

  • Signed Cartier
  • Measurements: 13 1/2 × 11 13/16 × 6 3/16 inches

Additional cataloguing

Biography

Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. His three grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, built the house into a famous international jewelry empire serving royalty, Hollywood stars, and socialites. Cartier has created some of the most important jewelry and objects of art of the twentieth century with many iconic designs such as mystery clocks, Tutti Frutti jewelry and the Panthère line. In 1983, The Cartier Collection was established with the objective of acquiring important pieces that trace the firm’s artistic evolution. Today, Cartier has 200 stores in 125 countries.

 

Significance

The history of modern travel started with the Greeks and Romans who had summer villas by the sea in beautiful locations. In medieval times, pilgrims and missionaries made dangerous journeys driven by religious conviction. Then, in the 16th century, wealthy educated men began taking The Grand Tour, a trip through the art and architecture of European cities, often backed by nearly limitless wealth. This was considered the last step in the education of world and society leaders through the 19th century. By the 1900s, advances in travel technology and general safety of the world made travel via train, ocean liner, and automobile more accessible. Due to the legacy of The Grand Tour, glamorous travel was looked at with high regard. The proliferation of astonishing travel posters from the Art Deco period shows the public fascination with this pastime.

From Cartier’s founding in the 19th century, the company has offered a variety of decorative and functional objects to their clients. Louis Cartier said, “We must make it our business to build up an inventory that responds to the mood of the public by producing articles which have a useful function but which are also decorated in the Cartier style.” In the 1920s, the booming postwar economy provided spending money for new clients interested in travel, and also in luxury goods for use in daily life. Cartier created their best designs in the 1920s, often inspired by the Cartier’s travels to exotic locations such as Russia, India, and China. The design of this massive polished silver box is inspired by the excitement and importance of world travel. In a subtle, but clever move, the polished silver is adorned with two silver belt straps, like those found on a travel trunk bound for exotic locations.

This magnificent box is of an unusually large size and would be a monumental addition to any collection.