From June 1 to July 31, 2019 the Beyond Boundaries: Cartier and The Palace Museum Craftsmanship and Restoration Exhibition was held in the Meridian Gate Gallery of the Palace Museum.

Ten years after  Cartier Treasures – King of Jewellers, Jeweller to Kings, this new exhibition celebrated the bonds of friendship between Cartier and China, between their shared inspiration and savoir-faire.

This unique event welcomed more than 600,000 visitors in one of the most prestigious locations in the world, with more than 850 pieces dating from the Ming dynasty to the present day. These pieces came from the Collection Cartier, the Archives of the Maison, the Palace Museum’s collections and from public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Qatar Museums, the Musée International d’Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds, as well as private and royal collections.

The Chinese dragon represents courage and the good, contrary to Western culture, which portrays it as a frightening symbol. On this brooch dating back to 1920, Carter highlights two dragons playing around a central pearl, a common motif in Chinese architecture and furniture. This brooch was purchased by Jeanne Paquin, a famed Parisian fashion designer in the 1910s who was among the first pioneers to gain international renown. 

 

Brooch

 

Cartier Paris, 1920 

Platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, onyx 

Cartier Collection

Mother-of-pearl, coral, jade, sapphire, turquoise, diamond, aventurine... For Cartier, precious stones are colors, used by artists to compose the embellishments of this 1928 toiletry bag. Featured in the Cartier Collection today, its remarkably delicate effects of material and depth were likely inspired by a Chinese Kangxi “famille-verte” porcelain plate from the collections of Louis Cartier. During this exhibit, this piece was placed alongside a similarly decorated plate from the collections of the Palace Museum.

 

Chinese vanity case

 

Cartier Paris, 1928 

Gold, platinum, mother-of-pearl, coral, sapphires, turquoise, onyx, aventurine, jade, emeralds, diamonds, black lacquer

Cartier Collection

Borrowing from the opulence of Chinese motifs, Cartier drew inspiration from the chimera, a goat-lion-dragon hybrid, to create a large number of precious items starting in the 1920s. A special order from actress María Félix in 1972, this bracelet combines the intensity of coral with a stylized version of the fantastical creature, whose details are accentuated with diamonds or emerald cabochons. This piece was recently added to the Cartier Collection.

 

Chimera bracelet

 

Cartier Paris, special order, 1972 

Gold, diamonds, emeralds, coral

Cartier Collection