From the 1920s, Louis Cartier's closest collaborator Jeanne Toussaint led the company to focus on evening bags and handbags. These quintessentially feminine accessories began to show touches of the jeweller’s art, inspiration and expertise. Decorative clasps and closures in particular were made with as much care as the pieces of jewellery that often accompanied them. Other bags were distinguished by the brocade or the Chinese and Persian embroidery associated with dresses by Poiret, Lelong or Lanvin.

CLUTCH BAG

CARTIER PARIS, 1927

Silver, yellow gold, mother-of-pearl, coral, rose-cut diamonds, jade, onyx, red enamel (clasp), black enamel, green suede.

17.0 x 28.0 cm

EVENING BAG

CARTIER NEW YORK, 1957

14-carat yellow gold, platinum, carved coral, old-, baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds, emerald and sapphire cabochons, black velvet. 

Bark-gold satin lining, four pockets. 

Provenance: María Félix (1914-2002).
Mexican diva and archetypal Latin femme fatale, Félix was well known in Mexico and France for films by Emilio Fernandez, Jean Renoir, and Luis Buñuel. She was a true reptile lover.

18.0 x 17.0 cm

HANDBAG

CARTIER PARIS, SPECIAL ORDER, 1961

Yellow gold, marquise-shaped emeralds (eyes), black enamel (stripes), brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, black satin. 

This handbag features the initial of Princess Nina Mdivani, to whom it was given as a gift. 

Black satin lining, six pockets, a mirror, and a black satin card holder. 

Special order for Barbara Hutton. 
Barbara Hutton (1912–1979) was the granddaughter of the founder of the Woolworth’s retail chain, and one of the richest women in the world. On 23 June 1933, she married the Russian prince Alexis Mdivani, the first of her seven husbands. For her wedding, she wore an extraordinary pearl necklace and a diamond-studded tortoiseshell tiara, both made by Cartier. An enthusiast for magnificent jewellery, she became one of the firm’s most loyal clients.

26.9 x 20.0 cm