In Pursuit of the Finest Porcelain: The Quiet Splendor of Cartier
- 11 June 2022
Ensconced in glass cases at the Finer Pursuits auction preview are two sets of Cartier Limoges porcelain with stories to tell.
Arguably the French house’s most recognizable motif, the elegant panther speckled and outlined in gold tones has found its way into high-end jewelry and watches to perfumes and home décor, enchanting lovers of luxe for more than a century. The fanciful feline has indeed become synonymous with Cartier – that any iteration of this majestic animal outside of the brand is considered a pale imitation.
The emblematic spotted pattern of the panther first appeared in 1914 on a woman’s wristwatch embellished with precious gemstones such as onyx and diamonds. An expression of femininity and fierce independence – and eventually, a symbol of luxury and fine craftsmanship – the image of the panther and its figurative and abstract interpretations epitomizes Cartier’s ingenious essence as one of the world’s leading luxury brands.
The porcelain set on offer features some of Cartier’s earliest designs for tableware in Limoges porcelain – famous for its dazzling white, luminous hue, and often hand-painted with intricate decorations.
The set belongs to the La Maison de Louis Cartier – House of Louis Cartier – line, featuring a red inner band design to emphasize the central motif depicting the topiaries and crimson blooms. On the outer part of the gold-rimmed dinner plate, the panther is depicted sauntering through an Italian cypress garden, reminiscent of the landscaping of the aristocratic villas where one would expect these sets to be in use, the image exuding an unmistakable aura of lavishness.
Enticing and impressive in design, this La Maison de Louis Cartier Limoges porcelain set is a rarity, the pattern being discontinued in 1992. It is in pristine condition.
Another sumptuous Cartier set included in the auction is La Maison Vénitienne – ‘Venetian House.’ The dinnerware pattern on this collection is strikingly vibrant with its thick lapiz blue color around the rim, with depictions of birds with emerald plumage drinking from a fountain at the center – the ornate motif inspired by some of Cartier’s most famous ‘bird’ brooches.
Its minimalist overall design projects an image of tranquil elegance, a quiet splendor that can only be Cartier.