June 8, 2014

Hair Comb History Highlight #4: Cartier (updated with more combs!)

diamond and onyx fine jewelry combs with blonde tortoiseshell, Cartier 
Diamonds are a girls best friend, so why not wear them in your hair as well? Cartier is a name many recognize for their pave diamond panther brooches and famous watch styles, but they have been around long enough that they made hair combs too! I found it harder to find extant or documented combs from Cartier (but wow did they make some amazing tiaras!) I persevered and through the wonder of pinterest research I have a few diamond beauties to show you all today!

Cartier was founded in Paris by Louis Francois Cartier in the year 1847. The firm famously 'invented' the men's wristwatch so that aviators could tell the time while flying without fumbling to find their pocket watches! Often commissioned by royal family's all over Europe, Edward VII ordered 27 tiaras for his coronation in 1902! Most of the many fabulous Cartier tiaras are easy to find, its the combs which seem to be rarer survivals! Perhaps they just didn't make many combs, those who could afford a diamond comb perhaps wanted tiaras instead, and I can't blame them for that!

A very early Cartier comb circa 1860, I want to know if there are more of these early combs hiding out there!
Carved coral and diamonds, gorgeous! the best Cartier example I found!
A simple but beautiful diamond and sapphire comb, no rhinestones for royalty! only fine gems for Cartier customers!
Pink opal, black onyx, diamonds and gold elevate the humble hairpin
Diamonds and blond tortoiseshell in their original box! 
Tortoiseshell comb with diamonds and pearls in a platinum setting, 1923. Combs in this style were worn nestled in a curled bob on the back of the head.
Enameled gold and diamonds set in open back silver, mounted on blonde tortoiseshell, 1905
Diamonds in an open back platinum setting, mounted on blonde tortoiseshell, 1903 
(I just added the three combs above to this post after finding them in a Cartier Collection book while doing Cartier research today at my internship!)

I expanded my definition of hair comb to hair accessory for Cartier, because they made such gorgeous aigrettes and tiaras too!

Emerald and diamond feather aigrette, worn in the hair or attached to a tiara
Floral diamond and platinum hair band, circa 1930, holy awesome! I'll take one please!
Tiara time! Circa 1907, ordered by Princess Marie Bonaparte for her marriage to Prince George of Greece and Denmark. Botanical tiaras, especially laurel or other leaves, are my favorite!

Circa 1914, in diamonds, pearls and black onyx! So very 20's looking, ahead of its time!
Tutti Frutti tiara of Lady Mountbatten, the Vicereine of India. Circa 1928, carved emeralds, sapphires, rubies and diamonds! Tutti Frutti Cartier is my favorite!
If you are anything like me, you love to see this kind of fine jewelry up close, but don't exactly have the funds necessary to own any ;) I have an exciting solution for this predicament, coming in November of this year, a HUGE Cartier exhibit will be opening at the Denver Art Museum! I am so excited to see tutti frutti Cartier up close! I am interning at the museum this summer, which means I'll be helping with this exhibit as it goes through the planning and more-planning preparations before opening in the fall! Come November I'll be the girl there with her nose to the glass dreaming! 

all photos found on pinterest, most c.o. Cartier originally!

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