Rare Antique and Estate Jewelry & Fine Collections of Precious Gems
March 01, 2017
Cartier and the Panther have been linked since 1914, when Louis Cartier first introduced the symbol of the big cat to the Cartier brand by way of a painting by George Barbier.
Later the same art was used in Cartier advertising and, since that day, the two have been inextricably linked. Surprisingly, given Cartier’s incredible ring heritage, the first Panther ring wasn’t introduced until 1935, under the direction of legendary Cartier head of design, Jeanne Toussaint.
Indeed, it was Toussaint who kept the Panther line in the Cartier catalogue in the preceding years, earning her the nickname “La Panthére” in the process. Through the decades, the Panther range has changed several times, but one element remains constant. Whether it’s the classic Panther head ring or the open-sided long-tail effect ring, every piece bearing the Panther name has two sparkling green stones set as the eyes of the animal.
Traditionally, this would be emeralds but, perhaps in an attempt to keep retail costs down, Cartier have released several rings that use the Tsavorite garnet as the eyes. At small sizes, the two gemstones are difficult to tell apart, however true Cartier fans and collectors will always insist on emeralds for the sake of genuine authenticity!
The Panther range of rings, itself, is actually quite diverse save for the constant panther motif. The classic Panther Head ring somehow manages to balance size and elegance perfectly and has been the inspiration for a thousand imitations, while the latest collection - celebrating 100 years of the original Panther design - contains rings displaying all manner of twists and elaborate variations on the theme.
One unfailing aspect of any Panther piece, be it a ring, necklace or bracelet, is that however beautiful it looks in a display will pale significantly when worn. Panther rings have the ability to bring not just admiring glances, but obvious oohs and aahs from anybody lucky enough to be in the immediate vicinity.
The level of craftsmanship is unparalleled and the attention to detail is just astonishing in even the most delicate rings. Above all, though, a Panther ring has the ability to demand respect. Respect for the quality, respect for the skill in the making, and respect for the Cartier name. Even those who have never before seen a Cartier Panther ring, once they have set eyes on one, will never forget the experience.
The exquisite beauty leaves people breathless and with an everlasting memory that they have seen something truly special. One curiosity about Panther rings is that Cartier make no effort to distinguish one from another by way of naming conventions.
It makes no difference how similar or how different the design of the rings in the range, they will all just bear the name “Panthére Cartier Ring”, leaving it up to the wearer to decide their own pet name for one of the most spectacular rings they will ever own.
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