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Here’s everything you need to know about Cartier: The Exhibition at the NGA

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“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

– Marilyn Monroe, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

On March 30, Cartier: The Exhibition launches at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. This stunning exhibition features 300 of the finest pieces from the luxury brand’s collection.

 Cartier jewellery on display at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.


Cartier jewellery on display at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Charting Cartier’s style evolution throughout the 20th century, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see jewellery worn by royal family members, aristocrats and celebrities.

For instance, visitors can get up close to the halo tiara that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth lent to Kate Middleton for her wedding to Prince William. The tiara was borrowed from Her Highness’ royal collection just for the exclusive exhibition at the NGA.

Halo tiara, 1934. Photo: Nils Herrmann

Halo tiara, 1934. Photo: Nils Herrmann

Other incredible items on display include Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond and ruby necklace, Princess Grace of Monaco’s 10.48-carat diamond engagement ring, and Mexican actress Maria Felix’s glittering crocodile brooches, which boast 1,023 yellow diamonds, 1,060 emeralds and two ruby cabochons.

Cartier: The Exhibition

Two crocodile brooches, 1975. Photo: Nick Welsh

“It is a collection of immeasurable quality and value, the likes of which have never been seen in this country before, and may never be again,” said Gerard Vaughan, NGA Director.

“It’s a coup for the NGA that jewels of such spectacular calibre and size, amongst the most important in the world, magnificently set by Cartier’s renowned craftsmen will be exhibited only in Canberra.”

Necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings, 1951. Photo: Marian Gérard

Necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings, 1951. Photo: Marian Gérard

Pierre Rainero, Director of Image and Heritage at Cartier, flew in from Paris to attend the exhibition’s media unveiling at the NGA last year.

“Cartier represents the poetic amalgamation of art, passion and style,” he told The Canberra Times. “Jewellery is a language of love, and this exhibition, organised by the NGA, represents a gift of love to the Australian people.”

Pierre Rainero, Style, Image and Heritage Director from Cartier, with the crocodile necklace/brooches made for María Félix in 1975 at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Pierre Rainero, Style, Image and Heritage Director from Cartier, with the crocodile necklace/brooches made for María Félix in 1975 at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Cartier: The Exhibition opens 30 March at the NGA. You can learn more about the exhibition here.

Feature image: Two crocodile brooches, 1975 (Photo: Nick Welsh).

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