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The glory of classic Cartier jewelry is exhibited through fifty years worth of designs shown in this exhibition catalog. It shows how surprising the First Cartiers were, in two clear ways: first, art nouveau elements are almost totally absent. Instead there is a singular reinterpretation of the neoclassical vocabulary: floral motifs, acanthus scrolls, and garlands or drops. Care for detail in these architectural motifs–often in three dimensions–is paramount. At the same time, Cartier introduced the use of platinum for the mounts. This metal was more solid and more luminous but also harder to work. It required a revolution in setting techniques as well as new tools and underlying techniques. Layer by layer, these foundation designs raised Cartier to the position of visionary and pioneer.Specialists, collectors, fans of Cartier objects, and those who love decorative arts will discover a surprising new view of Cartier in this major catalog.