Bumping headlong into the magnificent world of Chinese art
”the jeweler of the emperor, the emperor of the jeweler” – this evaluation from King Edward VII is undoubtedly the most appropriate definition and praise for the French jewelry leader Cartier. The Cartier family, which has an international vision, has always been good at drawing inspiration from the cultures of various countries and the details of elegant life, creating handed down works that lead the trend.
Cartier has a deep relationship with ancient Chinese civilization. Since the publication of “Marco Polo’s Travels”, Marco Polo’s wonderful experience in the East has deeply attracted the exploration eyes of Europeans, and China has become their goal of hunting for wealth and glory. Many Westerners are addicted to the “gold rush”, and regard the East as a “paradise on earth” full of gold.
As early as the 17th century, lacquered cabinets, gazebos, “architectural models” and poetic characters from China were favored by the Western world. Silk, porcelain and lacquerware from the East, and ships loaded with treasures from Guangdong, carried the exotic flavors of the East to the West. Since the end of the 18th century, with the sharp increase in imports from China, a large number of Chinese handicrafts and antiques entered Europe, and became popular among the upper class.
One day in 1888, Louis Cartier, the third-generation descendant of Cartier, who was already very prestigious among the royal family, received an order from the Viscountess Bonneman to transform a small Chinese antique lacquer cabinet into a jewelry box. . When the small lacquer cabinet with soft Chinese landscape patterns was sent to Louis Cartier, he was immediately deeply shocked by its unique exotic cultural atmosphere. Lacquerware, an ancient Chinese craft with a long history of thousands of years, is like a key to open the temple of Chinese art, which suddenly gave Louis Cartier infinite passion to explore this mysterious country.
In order to cater to the preferences of the Viscountess Bonneman, Louis Cartier purchased many pieces of Chinese antique handicrafts from the 18th and 19th centuries from Lapagod, a leading French antique expert, and the China-India Company. The exquisite handicrafts made have become the beginning of many creative and unique masterpieces that inspired him. Chinese materials, design styles, ideographic characters, animal fables and myths and legends also deeply attracted him.
Inspired by the mother-of-pearl lacquerware in dark night tones, Cartier uses the Chinese landscape as the background to touch the pulse of oriental civilization. After careful design, Louis Cartier vividly reproduced the scenes of cultural rituals in ancient China in the form of dressing boxes, powder boxes and gilded long-necked vases. Cartier vividly outlines these social life scenes and character modeling.
In the long years that followed for more than a century, Cartier continued to draw creative inspiration from traditional Chinese culture and art, and successively used these exotic styles ingeniously and perfectly in the creation of its handicrafts, which won wide recognition and praise from the world. .
Integrating Chinese elements into a series of creations The influence of
Chinese culture was widely reflected in Cartier’s works in the 1920s and 1930s. Lacquerware, carved jadeite, coral, etc., and Chinese mother-of-pearl with pastel luster, these materials from the jewelry creation category in China provide Cartier with a steady stream of design inspiration.
Chinese elements have had a profound influence on the formation and development of Cartier’s animal series jewelry. The legendary Lung rose from the water, determined to enter the heavens and take his place among the gods. The gods admired its fearless courage, and instead of punishing its bold behavior, granted it immortality, and the authority and demeanor of the dragon in Chinese mythology was born from this. Contrary to Eastern legends, dragons are often seen in the West as symbols of destruction or evil. The Chinese dragon, on the other hand, represents goodness and heroic power, and it is a symbol of conquest.
Various Chinese myths and their animal legends thus entered the artistic creation of the three Cartier brothers Louis, Pierre and Jacques. They roam freely in China’s extensive allegorical forms and symbolic art, absorbing sufficient nutrients. Inspired by images of Chinese dragons and Indian fetishes, Louis Cartier has added a highly original design to the Cartier animal jewelry collection. In 1922, the Cartier workshop produced the first unicorn bracelet. The kylin is a mythical animal in ancient Chinese myths and legends. These two unicorns carefully carved from coral cleverly connect the whole bracelet, which is inlaid with many precious gemstones. The two unicorns seem to be playing with two emerald circles. beads. A year later, Louis Cartier made a brooch in the shape of a unicorn for his wife. Since then, the dragon and unicorn have never left the Cartier animal series, and together with the cheetah, they have become the legendary symbols of Cartier.
A jade screen clock created in 1927 is an excellent work of Cartier’s design concept of combining Chinese and Western styles. The front side of the jade-faced screen is engraved with Chinese landscapes, including images of pageboys and donkey riders, and another landscape painting and a gold-thread enamel dragon on the back. The screen is surrounded by a bamboo-shaped edging composed of red coral and embedded with diamonds. The pillars on both sides of the black onyx support are in the shape of a dragon, and the jade screen is inserted from the head of the dragon. Today, this jade screen clock with high aesthetic value has been collected by the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts.
During the “Art Deco” period, Cartier interpreted the myths of the ancient civilizations in the east. A phoenix-patterned compact and lipstick case from 1925 is a classic. On the powder box, mother-of-pearl and diamonds form a radiant cloud, and a phoenix inlaid with gold enamel spreads its wings on it, looking magnificent. The black graphics around the powder box and lipstick box are traditional Chinese Ruyi patterns, which represent the best wishes for all the best.
Many of Cartier’s works are inspired by the pictures on Chinese lacquerware, and a dressing box created in 1926 is one of its representative works. On the basis of the original lacquer, the designer embellished it with coral, diamond, gold and other materials to produce an extremely exquisite high-grade handicraft. The traditional style and exquisite design fully interpret the Chinese temperament of the work.
An earring designed in 1928, using a Chinese emerald Maitreya Buddha pendant from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Cartier borrowed the image of the big-bellied Maitreya Buddha who always smiles, and added a flame-shaped backlight inlaid with diamonds to the Buddha statue with a new idea. The existence of traditional Chinese Buddha statues embodies the traditional meaning of “Bodhisattva blesses” on this pair of earrings.
Cartier continues to draw inspiration from Chinese culture, and in the long history, it has blended and bred many creative and unique treasures. For more than a hundred years, Cartier has joined hands with Chinese elements to compose a series of wonderful artistic chapters…
The rapid development in China has just
begun . Cartier entered Hong Kong in 1969 to develop its business. After that, after more than 20 years of long waiting, the world’s top jeweler finally introduced its noble and elegant masterpieces to the mainland of China-from this time on, Cartier really entered the hometown of dragons.
In 1992, Cartier set up the first watch counter in Shanghai with infinite respect and reputation, and started a magical journey in the vast Chinese mainland. In 1996, the Cartier Modern Art Foundation, which represents the most cutting-edge modern art in the world, exhibited the French artist Jean-Pierre Renault’s masterpiece “Golden Altar” in the Forbidden City, allowing the Chinese public to experience the beauty of Cartier’s art treasures for the first time. unique charm. In 1997, Cartier opened China’s first boutique in Beijing Wangfu Peninsula Hotel. High-end jewelry and diamond watches were also launched in China. Since 2000, Cartier has gradually become the main sales force of Cartier in China. By 2001, Cartier had successively opened boutiques in Shanghai Hang Lung Plaza and Beijing China World Mall, bringing its full range of jewelry, watches, and accessories to the vibrant Chinese market.
Cartier, with its unparalleled artistic attainments and luxurious and elegant exquisite works, has won the praise and favor of many domestic customers. The Le Baiser du Dragon (“Dragon’s Kiss”) jewelry series, which was grandly released in China in 2003, was called “an important tribute to Cartier’s relationship with China for more than a century” by the media. Inspired by Chinese wind chimes, ruyi knots, and clasps, Cartier has created masterpieces handed down from generation to generation – unique earrings, necklaces, exquisite rings, bracelets, brooches, etc. With its simple and smooth modern style, Cartier has reinterpreted the elegant and implicit traditional Chinese aesthetics, reflecting Cartier’s constant obsession and love for Chinese culture.
In 2004, the World Tour of Classic Jewelry, hosted by Cartier, came to Shanghai, China. Cartier exhibited its very complete classic collection, including nearly 300 classic masterpieces over 150 years: the pink flamingo brooch decorated with diamonds and sapphires, which is precious and colorful; the earrings are inlaid with emeralds Eyes, cheetahs with fur made of onyx and diamonds are elegant and agile; parrots decorated with emerald eyes and sapphire feathers on rings and necklaces are lifelike…the exhibits include peerless antique treasures bought back from the auction market with huge sums of money, and some from A contemporary masterpiece on loan from a private collector. This jeweler from France narrates its romantic and glorious history with its dazzling and charming pieces, which opened the eyes of 400,000 Chinese audiences.
The “Cartier Blessing China” series released in limited quantities worldwide in 2008, and the newly released panda decorative art series in 2010 are all jewelry treasures created by Cartier inspired by Chinese elements, and they are also perfect examples of Cartier’s love for China.
Cartier’s managers and designers, while inheriting the tradition of Cartier, continue to incorporate new product design concepts and modern atmosphere, bringing unique products to Chinese consumers. The luxurious and charming “Mysterious India” high-end jewelry series, the ingenious Paris New Wave jewelry series, the exquisite and flawless wedding series, the powerful and meticulous Caleb watch series, the elegant Tank watch series, and simple and fashionable accessories High-quality goods… All new products convey Cartier’s brand spirit of creating classics and striving for innovation, reflecting Cartier’s concern and love for the Chinese market.
In 2012, together with the collections of the Shenyang Palace Museum, the Cartier Collection held a large-scale royal jewelry exhibition called “Royal Fashion-Jewelry of the Qing Dynasty Court and Western Nobles” in the “Palace Museum” in Taipei. In 2013, the Cartier collection arrived in Shenyang for the first time, and was invited to participate in the “Beautiful Art – Chinese and Western Treasures Art Exhibition” held by the Liaoning Museum.
At present, as one of the markets with the fastest economic development in the world, China has gradually occupied an increasingly important strategic position in Cartier’s global territory. Although it was learned from the market at the beginning of the year that Cartier’s sales in China are currently suffering from cold weather, and it is difficult to maintain the double-digit growth of the previous two years, but this is just a twists and turns in the progress, or the old saying, “The future is bright, but the road is tortuous. .” Behind Cartier’s once falling into Waterloo, people believed in its spirit of pursuing innovation.
”In Cartier’s legendary history, classics and innovation are its DNA that will last for generations, and the brand essence rooted in its soul. In fact, the essence of Cartier lies in its eternal excellence. It can be said that Cartier’s future has already existed In our past.” Borna Fornas, the current global president of Cartier Jewelry, said when describing Cartier’s success.