The Cartier brand is synonymous with luxury and expense, but alongside their classic, timeless and sophisticated designs, they have also made their fair share of novelty jewellery. Biddle & Webb are delighted to be offering a 1960s example of this whimsical side to Cartier. Not only are we auctioning a piece from a top quality jewellery house but it also has an intriguing tale to go with it…
Firstly the piece itself, a 1960s Cartier 18ct yellow gold novelty bear brooch, designed as a bear wearing a neckerchief, set with a sapphire cabochon eye with surrounding eight-cut diamonds and a ruby cabochon nose. He is marked ‘Cartier’ to his ear and hallmarked as a London import dating to 1964, with the makers mark ‘JC’. Measuring almost 3.5×2.5cm this cute little bear is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but being solid 18ct gold, he carries a fair weight (possibly too many honey pots!). He is the perfect addition to your little black party dress or casually worn as a scarf fastener, he is certainly a conversation starter
Not only is the brooch in fantastic condition, but he also comes with his own piece of history. The brooch was a gift to our vendor from the personal collection of Lady Diana Delamere, (1913-1987, formerly Diana Caldwell) one of Kenya’s most well-known socialites of the 1930s/40s. Her circle became known as the Happy Valley set famed for their exuberant parties and decadent lifestyle.
Her life was highly publicised in the early 1940s after the murder of her lover, the Right Honorable Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll. Her then husband, Sir Jock Delves Broughton, was trialled for the murder and acquitted. The case stirred huge amounts of publicity and the events were later the subject of James Fox’s book ‘White Mischief’. The film adaptation of the same name was released in 1987 starring Greta Scacchi as Lady Diana and Charles Dance as the Earl of Erroll.
After the trial and divorcing Sir Broughton, Lady Delamere went on to marry twice more, finally marrying the 4th Baron Delamere. From her marriages, Lady Delamere inherited large amounts of land and became a very powerful figure in the region. With the brooch being dated 1964, he would date from when she had finally become Lady Diana Delamere.
This intriguing Cartier bear brooch will be going up for auction on Saturday 14th July, with an estimate of £1200-£1800. We are excited to be offering such a quality piece of jewellery with fascinating provenance. If only our little bear could speak – I wonder what stories he could tell!
For more information on this lot or any others in our 14th July auction, please contact me on 0121 455 8042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have jewellery you are looking to auction? Please feel free to get in touch.
Jennifer Pardoe FGA DGA
Auctioneer & Jewellery Specialist
0121 455 8042