Cartier Exhibit - San Francisco

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
– Unknown

“Cartier and America” exhibit at The Legion of Honor

Our favorite exhibit at The Legion of Honor was the stunning “Cartier and America.” The exclusive exhibit ran from December 2009 through May 2010. It was one of the top-rated pages on our website. Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend! This exhibit went way beyond fine jewelry. The exquisite pieces are magnificent works of art and history. There hadn’t been an exhibit like this anywhere in the world for over 20 years. The last one was in Paris and since then, a significant number of pieces have been added that weren’t available previously. There’s no other place in the world (not even Cartier in Paris) where you could see this exquisite display of jewels.

Cartier celebrated its 100th year in America anniversary with this eye-catching exhibit. The jewelry and works of art included pieces from the Private Collection of Cartier. The dazzling exhibit featured a spectacular array of more than 200 objects, including jewelry of the Gilded Age and Art Deco periods. 

Cartier Celebrity and Royalty Pieces

We followed the history of the House of Cartier and got up-close views of famous pieces owned by Americans. They included a pair of rock crystal and diamond bracelets worn by Gloria Swanson in the movie “Sunset Boulevard” and Daisy Fellowes’s famous “Tutti Frutti” necklace. One of our favorite pieces was the “Star of South Africa” Brooch, also known as the Dudley Diamond (Lady Dudley). The historical diamond and platinum piece was strikingly beautiful.

Elizabeth Taylor
We loved seeing Liz Taylor’s fabulous ruby and diamond necklace, bracelet and earrings. They were a gift from her late-husband Mike Todd, while they were vacationing in the French Riviera in 1957. The jewels were truly stunning. Wearing only a bathing suit and those beautiful jewels, Liz was positively glowing… wouldn’t you be too!

Duke & Duchess of Windsor
We saw the exotic “Flamingo Clip Brooch” made up of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrine and platinum. The Duke of Windsor provided Cartier with four bracelets and had the brooch made as a special order for the Duchess of Windsor in 1940. It had never been seen in a museum before this exhibit. The “Panther Clip” Brooch, bought by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1949, is made up of sapphires, diamonds, yellow diamonds, platinum and white gold. The exquisite piece of jewelry features a 152-carat Kashmir cabochon sapphire.

Princess Grace of Monaco
For the first time, an American museum featured the personal jewelry of Princess Grace of Monaco. The pieces were from the time of her wedding to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, in 1956. This included her breathtaking engagement ring, a 10.47-carat emerald-cut diamond set with two baguette diamonds mounted in platinum. Her Grand Diamond Necklace (a wedding gift) was equally spectacular. Grace Kelly wore her diamond engagement ring on the set of her last film, the 1956 movie “High Society” before she became Princess of Monaco.

Diamonds… and Mystery Clocks
Other spectacular pieces included: a 2,473-diamond “Snake Necklace” specially ordered for actress Maria Félix; a gorgeous “Serpent Necklace” and three incredible Scarab Buckle Brooches. Marjorie Merriweather Post’s exquisite diamond and sapphire Collar Necklace, as well as beautiful diamond and platinum Tiaras were also on display. And the exhibit featured an amazing collection of unique Mystery Clocks. The clocks are to Cartier what the Easter eggs are to Fabergé.

Book Fun San Francisco Sightseeing Tours

Scroll to Top