About the artist
Cartier was founded in 1847 by jeweller Louis-François Cartier, at the moment he took over the workshop of his mentor. His son Alfred Cartier followed in his father's footsteps in 1874 and later, in 1899, the business was taken over by Alfred's own sons: Louis, Pierre and Jacques. These names would eventually result in the worldwide fame the brand is associated with today, due to the invention of the first watch to be worn on the wrist.
In the early twentieth century, cartier launched some of its most renowned watch designs still sold today, like the Baignoire and Tortue in 1912. In the year of 1914, Cartier first used the symbol of the panther(it still does today as well). An edition of a watch which mimicked the spots and dots of a panther's fur was designed especially for this purpose, by Charleroi-born designer Jeanne Toussaint (1887). After this, the symbol of the panther began to appear on more objects, as powderpuff, cigarette and jewellery boxes. The panther is said to be used as a representation of the Woman as an object of desire.
Until 1964, the company remained in the hands of the Cartier family. The Paris establishement of the company was taken over by a number of investors in 1972. In subsequent years more and more offices began to appear, and other jewellers and watchmakers were taken over in addition to this. A private art foundation was set up: Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain. In 1993 Cartier found itself in a partnership with a large group of fashion brands, such as Piaget, Karl Lagerfeld and Hackett. Since 2012 Cartier is owned by the Richemont holding company and South African Johann Rupert.
The list of celebrities who have worn jewellry from Cartier is endless; Great Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, the Belgian Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and the English King Edward VII can be included. Grace Kelly is known to have worn Cartier jewellery on a regular basis and when Katherine Middleton married Prince William, she wore an especially designed tiara by Cartier as well.