Louis-François Cartier, the founder, was a learned man. Towards the end of his life, he became an expert in oriental languages. He instilled his descendants with the idea that culture is the most important of all values, and that writing is the defining mark of all civilisations. Writing instruments, first appearing in the 1860s, reached the height of refinement at Cartier. They included pen holders, fountain pens and mechanical pencils, and many other office accessories. They could be created in gold, silver, guilloché enamel, jasper, jade, coral and sometimes even set with precious stones. Nothing was too beautiful for the art of writing.
TELESCOPIC MECHANICAL PENCIL
CARTIER PARIS, 1929
Yellow gold, platinum, one square-shaped emerald, buff-top calibrated emeralds and one hemispherical striated emerald, rose-cut diamonds, black enamel.
Sold to Mr Ira Nelson Morris (1875-1942).
The heir to a great American fortune, he dedicated himself to politics and writing.
Length (with suspension loop) 5.48 cm
FOUNTAIN PEN AND MECHANICAL PENCIL WITH WATCH
CARTIER NEW YORK, C. 1940
Silver, 14-carat yellow gold.
Watch round movement, rhodium-plated, 17 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.
15.00 x 1.65 cm
CARTIER PARIS, 1947
Yellow gold, 149 rose-cut diamonds.
The gold and diamond mesh came from a disassembled necklace.
Length 10.30 cm