The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 30, 2011

Nov. 30, 2010

Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1978) designed the panther broach and bracelet which items were among the jewelry the Duchess of Windsor accumulated.  Toussaint, a woman of  beauty and glamor,  was the director of fine jewelry for the Cartier company starting in 1933. When Paris fell to the Nazis, Cartier had a broach in the figure of a bird in a cage, and after the liberation event, their Paris windows featured that design with the cage door open. It was Toussaint, one reads, who pushed for the trend of figural jewelry and away from the Art Deco abstraction as a style.
Toussaint's fondness for panthers, sparked perhaps by a trip to Africa, resulted in her nickname, "the panther." Her Parisian abode was decorated with panther skins, and she wore panther coats. The bracelet she designed for the Duke of WIndsor to give his wife, in 1952, a diamond and onyx panther, was auctioned, for the second time, at Sothebys, on November 30, 2010, for over 7 million dollars. The bracelet, lot 19, was a record for Cartier jewelry.

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