One of the most revered animal, Tigers are vulnerable to extinction as only about 3,200 exist in the wild today. Even in the ritzy-glitzy world of fine jewelry, Cartier Tigers are rare to chance upon. The Cartier Tiger Collection has been a highlight of 20th century jewelry design since it first appeared in 1928. At Christie’s’ upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, two pieces of tiger jewelry by Cartier are all set to go under the hammer. The onyx and diamond clip brooch and the bracelet with emerald eyes are estimated to sell for about $2.5 million together.
Along with the tag of French fashion house Cartier and the value of the precious metals and gemstones, it’s the history attached to these tigers that has played the role in elevating their value. The two diamond studded wild cats fashioned with onyx and emeralds originate from the legendary collection of the Duchess of Windsor. These pieces were bought by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor from Cartier between 1956 and 1959. At the legendary sale of the Duchess’ collection in 1987, Andrew Lloyd Webber bought them for his then wife, Sarah Brightman. They were a present to her to celebrate the huge London and Broadway success of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, which he wrote and in which she starred.
Seen in the images above is the Duchess of Windsor wearing the Cartier Tiger jewels, at the Gala opening of the new Lido Revue in Paris, 11 Dec 1959. Twenty-nine years later, in 1988, Sarah Brightman was captured wearing the Cartier Tiger brooch at The Phantom of the Opera opening party in New York’s Beacon Theatre.
Wonder whose wrist, the Cartier tiger will choose to rest on glamorously in 2014!
The proceeds from this sale is intended to benefit The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, which significantly supports the arts, music in schools, The Architectural Heritage Fund and awards 30 performing arts scholarships annually.