Cartier jewelry coming to the DAM

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These  days, when a lot of us think of Cartier, we think of its locking Love bracelets, or slick diamond solitaire engagement rings. But Cartier, of course, has a history like that of Tiffany & Co., an intersection of fine art and jewelry. However, unlike the American company, Cartier was the "official purveyor" for a fleet of European crowns, including: King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Cartier we also have to thank for the modern wristwatch, baguette-cut diamonds and fun historical facts like a passing relationship with the Hope Diamond — Cartier sold it to Evelyn Walsh McLean — and the commission of a crocodile necklace by María Félix, the iconic Mexican actress and lover of Diego Rivera.

Félix's commission. - NICK WELSH, CARTIER COLLECTION © CARTIER
  • Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier
  • Félix's commission.

A platinum, diamond and emerald necklace worn by the Countess of Granard. - NICK WELSH, CARTIER COLLECTION © CARTIER
  • Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier
  • A platinum, diamond and emerald necklace worn by the Countess of Granard.

Now then, the point of this blog: That croc necklace, along with a collection of Cartier heritage pieces, will go on display at the Denver Art Museum next November as part of Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century. The show "highlights Cartier's rise to preeminence — and the historical events pushing the brand's evolution," and will be organized thematically around Cartier's Art Deco pieces, old Hollywood glamour pieces and a section devoted to masculine items, like wristwatches. (Remember, pocket watches were the thing back in the day.)

The DAM press materials also say that Brilliant will be an "immersive installation," with which the DAM has had varying degrees of success, however the installation will be designed by Nathalie Crinière, who designed the stunning, touching Yves Saint Laurent retrospective. Now that show was immersive.

Now if none of that seals the deal for you, know this: Brilliant is exclusive to the DAM worldwide. It opens November 2014, with tickets going on sale next summer.

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