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Les Must De Cartier leather Products Certificate Blank
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Les Must De Cartier leather Products Certificate Blank:

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The name Cartier has been synonymous with luxury and elegance for well over a century. A world-renowned producer of the finest and most sought-after jewellery, leather goods and perfumes, Cartier started from surprisingly humble beginnings during the nineteenth century.

In 1847, at 28 years of age, Louis-Francois Cartier had been developing his passion for watchmaking in his master’s workshop for a number of years. Born in 1819 in Paris, the son of a gunpowder maker, Louis-Francois’ father had sent him to study with the jeweller and watchmaker Adolphe Picard. The young Louis-Francois had also expressed interest in becoming a goldsmith, but the family decided against it for fear that the profession would not enable him to make a decent living in the long-run. Working as an apprentice in Picard’s workshop in a poor and overcrowded Parisian neighbourhood in the early 1840s, he was required to toil alongside other young workers 15 hours a day, with their work being overseen by a whip-wielding foreman.

But now Louis-Francois had saved up enough to buy out his master and take over the workshop. At the very same point in history, he founded Cartier. In order to increase the store’s appeal to a wider range of customers, he expanded the range of products to include original jewellery and fashion innovations in addition to the main watch business.

By 1853, his success enabled him to expand and he founded a new shop on a fashionable Parisian street near the Palais Royal and the city’s stock exchange. This move proved to be most productive, as Princess Mathilde, second cousin of Emperor Napoleon III and, shortly thereafter, the Empress Eugenie, stumbled upon his shop, infused by what they saw. Over the course of the next several years, a stunned Cartier secured a significant income by selling hundreds of pieces of jewellery to French aristocracy.

By the 1860s, Louis-Francois was managing his business with his son Alfred, who had what can be considered no less than a historical stroke of genius—one which ended up securing Cartier’s status as a leading jeweller in Europe. By this time, France had truly become a nation of revolutions, with one revolution seemingly inevitably following the other. Shortly after the founding of the company, the 1848 revolution had had a very negative impact on Cartier’s jewellery sales, as the purchasing power of upper-class Parisians declined. When the next revolution hit 24 years later, however, Alfred Cartier, with a stroke of sheer ingenuity, turned what would have been another disaster into a golden opportunity.

During the Parisian Socialist Revolution in 1871, war was once again waged upon Cartier’s customer base, the aristocracy. But what would have otherwise been a major setback, was turned into a golden opportunity by Alfred. One of the measures taken against the Parisian aristocracy was to deny them access to their bank accounts. So naturally, they turned to whatever tangible assets they had on hand. And this, for the most part, meant their jewellery. Alfred seized the opportunity and managed to cash-in on a number bargains as these aristocrats were desperate to raise money. In buying some of their finest pieces, Cartier managed to, almost overnight, build one of the world’s finest jewellery collections – and for a fraction of its price.

This proved to be a major breakthrough for Cartier, as after the revolution, when spending started to pick up again, Cartier became Paris’ number one choice for fine jewellery, and soon the company was grabbing the attention of all the noble and wealthy throughout Europe. Alfred took over the company in 1874, and his sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques oversaw international expansion. Louis Cartier ran the Paris branch, which moved to the fashionable shopping street at the centre of Paris, the Rue de la Paix, in 1899. The grandeur of this new location emphasized Cartier’s historic shift from retailing to designing and manufacturing.

Alfred’s successes paved the way for international expansion. The first quarter of the twentieth century was a golden period for Cartier, during which it spectacularly established itself as a world-renowned luxury jewellery brand. In 1904, it received its first royal warrant as official purveyor to King Edward VII of England, who famously referred to Cartier as “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” During that same year, Cartier produced its first wristwatch, after the Brazilian pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier of the unreliability and impracticality of using pocket watches while flying. The wristwatch was an immediate hit with customers. The Cartiers also visited Russia, inspiring them to create the a-la russe collection. In 1907, Emperor Nicholas II ordered several items from Cartier. Royal warrants were issued to Cartier not only by king Edward and the Tsar, but also by the royal courts of Spain and Portugal.

Pierre Cartier established the New York City branch in 1909, with his brother Jacques opening the London store during that same year. By 1910, the Cartier brand was officially registered. While Louis and Pierre got married, their younger brother Jacques was the eternal adventurer. He travelled the Persian Gulf in search of the perfect pearl. proceeded to India, carrying magnificent jewellery of local maharajahs back to the London studio to redesign and modify for their own use. In 1917, Louis designed the famous Tank wristwatch, which was inspired by the tanks he had saw in use on the Western front during the First World War. The Tank would become one of the most coveted wristwatches of all time, and was famously worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana and Yves Saint Laurent.

In 1917 Pierre Cartier managed to close one of the most famous deals of the century. During the time, pearls were one of the most sought-after pieces of jewellery and some of the wealthiest people in the world were buying Cartier pearls. And so, Pierre had placed what was widely believed to be the most expensive pearl necklaces in the world in his New York showroom. With 128 pearls on its two strings, it was valued at what would amount to £ 16 million today. Pierre had his eyes on the New York entrepreneur Morton Plant dazzling Renaissance-style fifth avenue Mansion which he had just put in the market. Pierre considered it to be the ideal location to maximize his reach among the Big Apple’s high society, something Plant had no desire to be a part of. Knowing that Plant’s young bride, Maisie, desired that pearl necklace more than anything, Pierre approached him with a deal: the mansion for the necklace. Cartier’s New York store moved into the mansion, where it has remained ever since.

In 1928, the famous Indian Maharaja, Bhupinder Singh, commissioned Cartier to set the famous De Beers diamond as the centrepiece of a ceremonial necklace that would become known as the Patiala Necklace. The Maharaja was a renowned politician and philanthropist, but is perhaps best remembered as one of India’s most famous historical symbols of luxury. His necklace contained a total of 1000 carats in its almost 3000 diamonds and other precious stones. It is considered to be one of the most expensive pieces of jewellery ever made and it is estimated that the necklace, in its original form, would be worth around £ 20 million today.

During the Second World War, with the German occupation of Paris, Cartier designed a special piece of jewellery for the express purpose of keeping French morale high. It was not the design itself that made the Cartier bird brooch so special, but the idea behind it. During the time, many Parisians referred to themselves as birds in a cage. In 1942, Jeanne Toussaint, who was Director of Fine Jewellery at the time, came up with a concept of creating a brooch in a form of a caged bird to represent occupied France. In 1944 following France’s liberation at the end of World War II, the version that appeared in the Maison Cartier window in Paris was slightly different: the cage door was now opened and a bird was poised for flight. The brooch achieved renown as a symbol of liberty.

Following the death of Pierre Cartier in 1964, his children, who headed the respective Cartier affiliates, sold their businesses. All three affiliates, Paris, London and New York, were bought by Robert Hocq and a group of investors led by Joseph Kanoui during the 1970s and by 1979 the Cartier business was re-united with Cartier Monde now controlling Cartier Paris, London and New York. Kanoui became the company’s vice president. In 2012 cartier was bought, through Richemont, by the South African entrepreneur Johann Rupert and Elle Pagels, a granddaughter of Pierre Cartier.

Today, this luxury goods conglomerate firmly maintains its position as one of the undoubted global leaders and most recognizable brands in the luxury industry.

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Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011