With his lively, inquiring mind, Louis Cartier loved to collect antique and exotic objects. He drew on these to recreate the flavour and decorative style of their distant worlds on accessories such as vanity cases and cigarette cases. These objects display the influences from other epochs and other continents that also distinguish his jewellery: ancient Egypt, China, India and the Arabic-Persian world. With extraordinary flair and technical expertise, Cartier workshops reinvented a more beautiful world.

PERSIAN CIGARETTE CASE

CARTIER PARIS, 1920

Platinum, nephrite, rose-cut diamonds, sapphire cabochons, onyx cabochons, black enamel.
The centre with a Persian miniature. 

Louis Cartier was a keen collector who owned a noteworthy collection of Persian miniatures.
This sixteenth-century Persian miniature was part of the firm’s stock of apprêts. 
The term apprêts at Cartier referred to a stock of fragments from disassembled jewellery, watches, 
and other objects, including ancient items from Persian, Indian, Chinese, and Egyptian art.

6.05 x 9.32 x 1.83 cm

EGYPTIAN VANITY CASE

CARTIER PARIS, 1924

Yellow gold, platinum, mother-of-pearl carved with hieroglyphs, antique blue Egyptian faïence, coral, lapis lazuli, onyx, rose-cut diamonds, black enamel, leather cord, interior sliding downward with a folding mirror, a small gold and tortoiseshell comb, and two covered powder compartments (one with lipstick holder). 

The Egyptian faïence figure, possibly Bes, dates from the Ptolemaic period, probably the last 300 years BC.

9.25 x 4.47 x 2.02 cm (case)

MAKE-UP BOX

CARTIER PARIS, 1929

Yellow gold, platinum, rose-cut diamonds, black and cream enamel. 

The center with a Persian plaque of polychrome enamel (flowers and birds).

3.24 x 3.05 cm

DAY AND NIGHT 
VANITY CASE

CARTIER PARIS, 1927

Yellow gold, platinum, two mother-of-pearl plaques with a daytime and a night-time landscape, a ruby half-cabochon (rising sun) and a sapphire cabochon (moon), gems, hardstone, nephrite, carnelian, baguette- and rose-cut diamonds, black enamel. 

The interior fitted with a mirror, two covered compartments, a lipstick holder, and a place for a comb. 

The landscapes are attributed to Vladimir Makowsky. Makowsky (1884–1966) was a Russian who moved to Paris where he specialised in recreating chinoiserie of lacquer and hardstone.

2.00 x 9.30 x 5.30 cm