A Bird by Cartier
The post war period of the 1950s to 1960s was one of affluence and great wealth which brought with it the rise of the middle class. No longer was fine jewelry only available to the rich but the middle class could now afford to purchase jewels of their own. Fashion icons emerged during this time such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Grace Kelly who both inspired the idea of more wearable jewels for everyday. The formality of entertaining shifted from formal dinners to the idea of cocktail parties, inspiring glamour and decadence. Jewelry design adapted to these changes and the use of yellow gold became popular and so did the demand for brooches either scattered with diamonds or cleverly replicating creatures from the animal kingdom.
This brooch by Cartier is a great example of this transition in the 1950s and cleverly replicates a bird quietly perched upon a branch. Set with luminous diamonds and then accented by textured gold surfaces, no small detail is left out for this piece from the texture of the tail feathers to the sharp beak. Cartier quickly adapted to the demand during this period and created numerous brooches that were fun and whimsical. The creature most often represented during this time by all designers would have to be that of the bird. Jewelry houses were inspired by infinite examples of the species and produced various varieties of birds in flight to being perched on a branch like our example here. This jewel by Cartier is an excellent example of the wonderful craftsmanship of a leading jewelry house and is an excellent memento of a glamorous era.