Starting in 1910, reptiles had a special place among Cartier fauna: the virtuoso jeweler brought their lithe, undulating bodies to life in many impressive necklaces and bracelets. Supreme expertise was required over months, or even years, to assemble the internal platinum structure of the most sumptuous pieces, such as the snake necklace of the Mexican actress, Maria Felix.
CARTIER PARIS, 1919
Platinum, round old-cut diamonds, millegrain setting
Length 22.0 cm
CARTIER PARIS, COMMISSIONED IN 1968
Platinum, white gold and yellow gold, 2 473 brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds, weighing 178.21 carats in total, two pear-shaped emeralds (eyes), green, red and black enamel.
Commissioned by María Félix (1914-2002). Mexican diva and archetypal Latin femme fatale, Félix was well known in Mexico and France for films by Emilio Fernandez, Jean Renoir, and Luis Buñuel. She was a true reptile lover.
Length 57 cm
CARTIER PARIS, COMMISSIONED IN 1975
Gold, 1 023 brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds, weighing 60.02 carats in total, two navette-shaped emerald cabochons (eyes), 1 060 emeralds, weighing 66.86 carats in total, two ruby cabochons (eyes).
Each crocodile is fully articulated and may be worn as a brooch. In order to prevent injury to the neck when worn as a necklace, the inner feet have been replaced with motifs that give the effect of tucked-in feet.
Commissioned by María Félix (1914-2002).
Length 30.00 and 27.30 cm