The Panthère alphabet

The Panthère alphabet

From A through Z, Cartier presents the whole universe of its emblematic animal.

Avant-Garde

It all began with an allusion, a composition of onyx spots against a backdrop of diamonds for a wristwatch created 1914. The panther entered into the stylistic vocabulary of the Maison through the abstract, evocative interpretation of its coat.

Brooch

In 1948, the panther was represented for the first time in its entirety. The “taste for volume” to which Jeanne Toussaint was prone gave birth to pieces marked by a search for movement and life. This brooch was created from a 116.74-carat emerald as a special order from the Duke of Windsor for his wife.

Creativity

The variations on the panther’s attitude are infinite. With expressions varying from playful or lascivious to invincible, Cartier translates its personality traits with equal precision. For this bracelet, the jewelers were inspired by the shape of a beryl which seems to feature the reflection of a panther. Cartier creates the illusion of depth around playful designs of lines and perspectives.

Daisy Fellowes

In 1931, for heiress and fashion icon Daisy Fellowes, Cartier designed a bracelet and necklace evoking a panther's coat, enhanced with pearls, sapphires and turquoise. A bold set, just like its owner.

Exoticism

The end of the 19th century marked the beginning of a growing taste for travel. From one continent to the next, inspirations become richer and cultures came together. Cartier was at the center of these exchanges and changed the representations of the panther over the course of its discoveries. This vanity case from 1925, featuring the feline in a Persian garden, is one such example.

FELINES

Cartier’s expertise in designing animal figures extended to several other felines besides the panther. Tigers, snow leopards and cougars steadily expanded the Maison's menagerie.

Graphic

Playing with stylization, in 2005 Cartier designed a panther ring with a powerful design – a construction of graphic lines for a feline worn on the finger in self-affirmation.

Heritage

Since 1989, over thirty exhibitions around Cartier have been organized around the world in prestigious cultural institutions. Whatever the theme, these retrospectives reveal the Maison’s emblematic animal in all its aesthetic variations.

ICON

The subject of craftsmanship from shape to sketch, the panther is at the heart of Cartier’s creativity, with jewelers and designers composing an ever-renewing repertoire of attitudes. Through this pared down, graphic form, it asserts itself today as an icon of the Maison.

Jeanne Toussaint

Having joined Cartier around 1920 and having become Creative Director in 1933, Jeanne Toussaint was nicknamed “La Panthère” for her unique personality and strong character.

Know how

The panther holds secrets of which only Cartier’s artisan jewelers are aware. Nothing escapes their eyes: a work of proportion, volume and articulation in which everything is studied. Care and attention that goes so far as reproducing the animal’s coat with the fur setting.

Louis Cartier

Just as he had done a few years before with platinum, Louis Cartier I was the first to introduce the panther into modern jewelery. First in its abstract form, and then in a figurative style. It was Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s creative director from 1933, who increasingly incorporated the panther into pieces which soon became noticed - with her, the animal ascended to the ranks of the Maison’s emblem. The intuitive and pioneering Louis Cartier knew that between this strong-willed woman and the feline, the combination would be fruitful.

María Félix

Known as "The Mexican Panther", actress María Félix loved the Cartier menagerie. In 1967, she ordered a bracelet comprising two panthers with articulated heads and paws for greater realism.

Naturalism

In the Cartier menagerie, the panther falls between abstraction and embodiment. Its coat alone is enough to evoke the entire animal and, from its inception, Cartier has blended the two registers with the same mastery.

Onyx

From the first panther appearances, onyx was the material most often used to represent the animal's coat. Each a different shape, the spots translate the feline’s movement and volume with dazzling realism.

Perfume

Created in 2014 by Mathilde Laurent, La Panthère Eau de Parfum is a marriage of pure, mesmerizing gardenia and sensual notes of musk. This feline-floral scent is this fragrant incarnation of the panther that symbolizes Cartier.

Queen

Sovereign and majestic, the panther rules over the Maison’s menagerie. Its stately silhouette looms from one creation to the next. Nothing cute or over-sentimental at Cartier, but wild, dynamic and tense – just like the feline.

Roar

The invincible panther is the foundation of Cartier style. Tense muscles, open jaw, ears at attention and a sculpted profile – even more than its anatomy, the jewelry captures the feline’s very attitude.

Setting the fur

To reproduce the panther’s coat as accurately as possible, minuscule wires of precious metal are folded around the spots. This technique bears the name of fur setting, a savoir-faire exclusive to Cartier.

Timepieces

The panther motif appeared in abstract form at Cartier in 1914 on a women's watch in onyx and diamond. It launched a creative repertoire that Cartier has never stopped exploring. On this watch, it pounces, bounding towards the box. The impression of movement is translated by the curve of the bracelet, the rhythmic succession of emerald beads and the dynamic posture of the animal, depicted with a precise concern for anatomical detail.

Universal

Cartier’s curiosity is endless, through both time and space. This dynamic feeds the vision of the jewelers. As such, the representation of Cartier's iconic animal has evolved through these aesthetic encounters around pieces that revive this founding inspiration to universal relevance.

Volume

In 1935, Cartier created a ring around a ruby star and two sculptural panthers, in yellow gold and black enamel. It was the first appearance of a three-dimensional panther in the history of the Maison. A daring creation introduced by Jeanne Toussaint, herself a Cartier panther, who had a taste for colored stones, gold work and volume.

Duchess of Windsor

In 1948, the woman nicknamed “La Panthère”, Jeanne Toussaint, created a panther brooch around a 116.74-carat emerald for the Duchess of Windsor. This feline in gold and black enamel was the first reproduction of the animal in its anatomical entirety; it was also the first time that the Duchess of Windsor would succumb to its magnetic charm. Instantly recognizable She began the era of “panther women”.

XXIst century

Today, more than 100 years after it first appearance at Cartier, the panther continues to seduce not only women, but men as well. A question of style and the desire to express one’s freedom. Chosen as a unique signature.

Yellow Gold

Gold work at Cartier is often associated with the influence of Jeanne Toussaint, who paired it with volume in the 1940s. Their first panthers were in hammered or chiseled gold at the time. Alongside white and rose gold, it has never left the Cartier palette.

Zoo de Vincennes

From 1927 onwards, designer Peter Lemarchand spent countless hours at the Vincennes Zoo studying the expressions and movements of the panthers for Cartier. At the end of the 1940s, his jewelry designs sparked enthusiasm in Jeanne Toussaint.

Archives Cartier Paris © Cartier - Nils Herrmann, Collection Cartier @ Cartier - Amélie Garreau © Cartier - © Cecil Beaton, Courtesy Sotheby's London - Vincent De La Faille © Cartier © Shanghai Museum/ Cartier Photo : Nick Welsh, Collection Cartier © Cartier - Katel Riou © Cartier - © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's - Harald Gottschalk © Cartier - © Periodico Excelsior Vincent Wulveryck © Cartier - Nils Herrmann © Cartier - © R Doisneau /Rapho - © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images - M.Meheut © ADAGP