Art de Cartier: the power of the crocodile

Sometime in the mid-1970s, Mexican movie sensation Maria Felix took a new friend on a visit to her favorite jeweler on Paris’s rue de la Paix. Tucked under her arm, in a small box, was a baby crocodile, symbolizing a renaissance for the Incas, and Felix was about to ask the house of Cartier to produce a fabulous piece of jewelry inspired by her new pet. Besides the Inca tradition, she was excited about the prospect of crocodiles bringing power and passion to those who wear them. Six months later, Cartier’s celebrated craftsmen unveiled their masterpiece to «La Dona,» as Felix was known. She could not have been more pleased, as not one, but two, crocodiles were about to adorn her neck with exquisite suppleness. The first crocodile featured no fewer than 1,066 emeralds, while the other boasted an impressive 1,023 diamonds. And the designers had added their own creative twist: apart from being a necklace, each crocodile could be worn separately as a clip-brooch. Cartier eventually bought Felix’s necklace from the actress’s heirs in order to enrich the Art de Cartier, a sumptuous collection documenting and tracing the house’s long and exciting history. In Athens This unique piece of jewelry travels to Greece next month – but potential buyers hold your horses: The exceptional jewel is not for sale and comes to Athens as «guest of honor» at the annual Very Important Watches exhibition. The necklace is scheduled to go on display on Friday, November 3, to Sunday, November 5, at the Athenaeum Inter-Continental Hotel. For those looking for some crocodile-inspired power, however, the house of Cartier has also come up a new line of jewelry and women’s watches inspired by the handsome reptile.