LAST­ING IM­PRES­SIONS

Ev­ery jewel has a story, and Cartier’s lat­est Étour­dis­sant col­lec­tion have a cou­ple that go be­yond our wildest imag­i­na­tion. By Amy Yas­mine.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Jewels -

To the French, “étour­dis­sant” is a word fre­quently used to de­scribe some­thing as­ton­ish­ing or spec­tac­u­lar; a breath­tak­ing mo­ment that cap­ti­vates you in the still­ness of time. And Cartier has aptly named its lat­est high jew­ellery col­lec­tion “Étour­dis­sant”, an ex­trav­a­gant show­case of the 169-year-old mai­son’s un­par­al­leled artistry and ex­cep­tional crafts­man­ship with cen­tury-old savoir faire. After a sprawl­ing pre­sen­ta­tion that spanned across four dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents (the largest be­ing in Sin­ga­pore, where more than 600 high jew­ellery pieces were dis­played last Oc­to­ber), one mes­sage stood clear: While other jew­els sparkle, Cartier’s tells a story.

“It’s one of my favourite pieces here in this ex­hi­bi­tion,” says Cartier’s in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion direc­tor Ar­naud Car­rez as he ges­tured to­wards a stately bracelet. It is now months since the pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Étour­dis­sant Cartier’ opened its doors and shared Cartier’s pas­sion for ob­jets d’art with Sin­ga­pore, and yet, the mys­te­ri­ous sap­phire bracelet re­mains etched in mem­o­ries.

The Ro­manov bracelet, named after the Rus­sian Dy­nasty it once be­longed to, is a lu­mi­nous cre­ation with a past as im­pres­sive as its 197.8 carats. Long shrouded in mys­tery, the jewel was orig­i­nally an adorn­ment on Dowa­ger Em­press Maria Feodor­ovna’s evening gowns, worn to cel­e­brate Em­peror Alexan­der III. How­ever, as the Rus­sian Rev­o­lu­tion be­gan, all of the Em­press’s be­long­ings, in­clud­ing the pre­cious sap­phire, were seized by the Bol­she­viks, never to be found by its true owner again. Nev­er­the­less, the sap­phire found its way out of Rus­sia and into the hands of opera singer Ganna Wal­ska in 1928, and made a mys­te­ri­ous ap­pear­ance in Cartier’s flag­ship bou­tique in New York. Over the span of 40 years, the Ro­manov sap­phire con­tin­ued its dis­ap­pear­ing act

The mys­te­ri­ous Ro­manov bracelet—the star of Cartier's Étour­dis­sant col­lec­tion

Green with envy in the 66.09-carat cush­ion-shaped step-cut emer­ald high jew­ellery bracelet and the 31.03-carat su­gar­loaf emer­ald ring

A pho­to­graph of Dowa­ger Em­press Maria Feodor­ovna with the leg­endary sap­phire brooch on her gown

The in­fa­mous Ro­manov bracelet, fea­tur­ing the 197.8-carat Cey­lon sap­phire

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