Cartier In The Middle East: The Pursuit Of Magnificence

Eliza Scarborough   |   27 - 06 - 2017

Cartier Middle East has developed a unique regional campaign entitled ‘The Pursuit of Magnificence’ that brings to life the role of tradition, history and modernity shared by the Gulf Region and the Maison Cartier.

Jacques Cartier’s trip in 1911 Credit: Cartier Archives © Cartier

The long-time relationship between the Maison and the Gulf began in 1912, when Jacques Cartier, accompanied by his sales assistants, travelled to the Gulf in pursuit of the world`s most precious and exquisite pearls. This campaign features a tale truly inspired by the journal kept by Jacques Cartier at the turn of the 20th century in which he chronicled his journey to the Gulf. It is a tribute to that journey and a testimony to Jacques Cartier’s talent as an explorer. Ever-curious, he was one of the European pioneers who discovered many of the Arabian Gulf’s marvels.

Jacques Cartier’s trip in 1911. Here he is negotiating with a representative of the Sheikh of Bahrain. Manama, House of Mugbil Al Thukair. Credit: Cartier Archives © Cartier

The film, a collaboration between Cartier Middle East and award-winning design, animation, and content creation studio Mill+ makes the Jacques Cartier story come alive. The carefully detailed and yet magical way of creating a Cartier piece is demonstrated in the way the film is crafted. Gradually, each art object and character is shaped out of liquid gold until it materialises as a full-fledged Cartier High Jewellery piece.

Wishing everyone a blessed Ramadan, the first of what will be three chapters is dedicated ‘To Al Jazeera’. It romances Jacques Cartier’s arrival in the gulf on a dhow, while being welcomed by regional icons such as a falcon, a horse, an Arabian city, a pearl fisher net, and the holy moon. Here, an extract from Jacques Cartier’s journal relative to the first chapter expresses all the wonderment of that initial encounter.

Jacques Cartier during his trip to the Persian Gulf. Stopover in Bahrain, in 1911. Credit: Cartier Archives © Cartier

Jacques Cartier’s Journal

Muscat, 9 March 1912

‘I saw the phosphorescent sea. From the captain’s bridge, the two waves shaped by the ship’s bow were so blue it looked as though they were being illuminated from below. The whole boat was encircled by a luminous band and everywhere you looked fish left their zigzag trails through the water’s surface. It was like fireworks on the surface of the sea. We also get clear sight of the city of Moharrek and further in the distance the villages of Sathin and Dir, which look like small islands but, in actual fact, are only separated from Moharrek by dunes.’

Royal tiara – platinum, one 166.18-grain natural pearl, one 5.01-carat cushion-shaped diamond, natural pearls, cushion-shaped diamonds, brilliant-cut diamonds. The tiara can be worn as a necklace. The natural pearl is removable and can be worn on a pendant.

Credit: Nils Herrmann © Cartier

Ring – yellow gold, platinum, one 20.15-carat carved turquoise, cabochon-cut rubies, brilliant-cut diamonds

Credit: Vincent De La Faille © Cartier

The royal pearl of the Cartier Royal collection. An historical 166.18- grain natural pearl which belonged to Queen Mary, George V’s wife and Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother. It was presented in 2014 at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris on a tiara convertible into a necklace.

Credit: Nils Herrmann © Cartier