A jaw-dropping array of Cartier fine jewelry will soon be on display to the public at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). The exhibition will feature over 300 priceless historical objects, including commissions to the British royal family as well as popular screen queens Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few. Chief among this beautiful exhibit of objects is a colorful and historical head piece on loan from London for the first time.
We can't help but be transfixed by this particular Cartier Tutti Fruitti Bandeau, once owned by Lady Edwina Ashley Mountbatten.
Photo Courtesy of ABC News: Andrew Kennedy
An "it girl" of the Roaring 20's, Mountbatten was among the richest in the UK, and a trendsetter in her own right. Mountbatten displayed the new freedoms of the era with the gorgeous Cartier tutti frutti headpiece, at once less formal but starkly more exuberant than tiaras of the past. She often wore it as a bracelet after purchasing it for herself, a veritable "push present" after giving birth to her second daughter, Pamela. At the time, she purchased it for a mere 900 pounds.
We can tell Mountbatten had a style all her own, as her eye clearly went to the saturated cabouchon stones Cartier used to capture unique Indian artistic traditions, rather than the more popular faceted stones of other eras. Rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires intertwine to create a flower and fauna display, bursting with bright hues. The bandeau can be split into two bracelets, a unique feature at the time.
Mountbatten wears the bandeau as two bracelets here. Photo courtesy of ABC News: Andrew Kennedy
And luckily, the National Gallery was able to secure this only surviving Tutti Frutti bandeau for their exhibit. This will also be the first time it leaves its home base of London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
If you are lucky enough to be in Australia during the National Gallery of Australia's Cartier exhibit, please do not hesitate to treat yourself to the once in a lifetime gallery of priceless jewels. The Tutti Frutti Bandeau should be reason enough to book your ticket!