Louis-Francois Cartier established his legendary company in 1847 at 29 Rue Montorgueil, Paris. The business moved to its venerated location at 13 Rue de la Paix in 1899—by then the name Cartier recognized the world over as synonymous with originality and refined taste.
The turn of the century not only brought a celebrated new address to the house of Cartier but an exciting new alloy for their jewelry: platinum. Louis-Francois’ sons Pierre and Louis Cartier turned the house of Cartier into the world’s leading purveyor of platinum fine jewelry, fashioned in the popular garland style that so captured the elegance of age. Royals, aristocrats, and the rich and famous paid pilgrimage to their renowned Paris shop, and its sister branches, opened in New York and London.
Always a visionary, Louis Cartier foresaw how the First World War would put and end to the Belle Epoque, and in response to the changing times created a new style of jewelry to match the modern woman. At the now legendary Paris Exhibition of Decorative Arts of 1925, the house of Cartier solidified their reputation and gave rise to the Art Deco fever which spread across Europe and America.
1933 served as another tide changing year for the jewelry company. Louis Cartier assigned Je anne Toussaint to command the haute joaillerie department. The designer introduced a figurative fantasy into precious jewelry that was remarkable in its originality. Success exploded and branches were opened in C annes, Palm Beach, and Monte Carlo.
After the Second World War, Jeanne Toussaint handed off the reigns to Peter Lemarchard, who ushered in a series of animal motifs. Themes like the Great Cats and Oriental Birds would be iconic jewelry of the post war years. Throughout the remainder of the 20th century Cartier’s reputation remained undiminished. Its famous 1970s marketing campaign Le Must de Cartier saw the company offering fine jewelry at more affordable prices, introducing the brand to a new generation of middle-class buyers. The company continues to thrive today, operating boutiques worldwide.