French, 78 x 59 x 18 mm, 176 g, circa 1925
A marvellous Art Deco gold enamel and platinum powder box in the style of Cartier
Case: 14k gold/platinum/enamel; rectangular box with chamfered corners. All over decorated with costly engine-turned wave pattern and translucent green enameling. Opaque black enamel border, the lid with central black oval enamel plaque with four Japanese-inspired diamond-studded art deco ornaments, cabochon onyx pusher for opening the case.
This powder box was handcrafted in a classic rectangular shape and the combination of the inlaid geometrically patterned deep black enamel with the diamond-studded Japonist elements is typical for many beautiful Art Deco pieces.
The Art Deco time was one of the most important periods of the 20th century with an enormous impact on jewellery design. Even though it only lasted for about 15 years (circa 1920-1935), it inspired a great number of changes in jewellery making as well as generally throughout the world. Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels flourished during this period – their luxury jewellery managed to convey the feeling of the period perfectly. In addition to monochrome designs with light-coloured gemstones, oriental art motifs such as Chinoiserie and Japonist elements were frequently used. Moreover, a renewed interest in archaeological subjects brought along an enthusiasm for "Egyptian-style" objects. Today, jewellery, powder compacts, cigarette cases and lighters dating from the Art Deco period are wonderful collector’s pieces that are highly sought-after by many lovers of the style.