The Magical Art of Cartier
LOT 413
The "Merle Oberon" Neclclace London, 1938
With 29 graduated baroque emerald drops, each terminating in a round diamond stud, capped with pav-set diamonds, separated by variously-shaped diamond rondels, mounted in platinum, on platinum chain (the chain was lengthened by Cartier, Paris in 1963). Measuring approx. 44 cm. (17.5 in.). Accompanied by fitted leather box. Cartier Certificate of Authenticity N 2413. Estimate: * * *
Grading system

C D M  
See high definition image
Provenance: Made for Merle Oberon in 1938. This Indian-style necklace with baroq,.e emerald drops was made by Cartier London, in 1938 for the British actress Merle Oberon. This necklace is a wonderful example of Oberon's elegant taste and sensitivity. The emeralds themselves are noteworthy for several reasons. First there is the "hrdian connection" and the historical associations of such stones adorning maharajahs and mighty moguls, lending a certain "fairy tale quality" to the piece. Yet with or without illustrious associations, it is rare to see such an accumulation of so many emeralds, in such large sizes, and of such quality. Another element that must be noted with regard to the emeralds is the subtle graduation of the drops and the balance of the shapes, which combine to create a graceful line often absent in necklaces using so many large stones. The unusual construction of this piece is also rare - using diamond-set loop bails to rotate totally around the platinum from which they are suspended. This allows perfect conformity to the neck, allowing the necklace to lay perfectly and giving it a more elegant appearance when being worn. This important element also adds character lacking in most necklaces of this type. Literature: This magnificent piece has been the most photographed Cartier necklace of all time. Hollywood Jewels, Movies Jewelry * Stars, by Penny Proddow, Debra Healy, Marion Fasel; Photography by David Behl; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, (USA), 1992, page 91-93; Cartier - Jeruelers Extraordinary, by Hans Nadelhoffer, 1984, plate n 28; Platinuni By Cartier, Triunrphs of the Jewelers' Art, by Franco Cologni and Eric Nusshaum (originally published in France 1995 by Cartier, under the title "Cartier: Joaillier du Platine") English language edition 1996 by Cartier, published in 1996 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorpora ted (USA), pages 178-179, as well as the back jacket cuver. Exhibited: L'Art de Cartier, Muse du Petit-Palais, Paris, Exhibition Catalogue 20 October 1989 - 28 January 1990, illustration n 467, page 156. L'Art de Cartier, Accademia Valentino, Roma, Exhibition Catalogue 31 May - 5 August; 5 August -10 October 1990, plate n F/LVI, page 64. Hollywood Jewels, Exhibiton of the Jewels of the Sta rs, Hollywood (CA), 1992.
The Magical Art of Cartier
Sold including buyer's premium:
2,643,500 CHF