Reema, Age 4 in India

Shinde Jewels

From The Archive




Retro Cartier x Tiffany MashUp

Suite of Retro Ruby, Diamond, Gold & Platinum Scroll Jewelry, Cartier, Tiffany & Co.

Each set designed as a scrolling motif in 14K gold, enhanced by a row of square-cut calibré-cut rubies, with single-cut diamond accents in platinum. The dress clips are signed and numbered Cartier, and the ear clips are signed Tiffany & Co., circa 1945.

Condition: Excellent. Original clips & fittings. The rubies are all Burmese and both pairs show no minimal to no evidence of wear.

Hallmarks: Dress clips signed Cartier 11613 & 11614 & stamped 14K; Earclips signed Tiffany & Co. & stamped 14K.

Size: The dress clips measure just under 1.5 inches in length, and the ear clips measure approximately 7/8 inches in length


Those who have seen this demi-suite are initially baffled because both the clips & the earrings were clearly produced in the same workshop, but bear two different jewelers' names. 

Let's step back for a moment and consider Cartier and Tiffany & Co. in the mid-twentieth century. The firm Cartier at that time was essentially three brothers who had carved up the world, with Louis Cartier heading up the Paris headquarters, Pierre Cartier managing the United States, with Jacques Cartier in London. 

The sale of the Hope Diamond to Evelyn Walsh McLean and the acquisition of the iconic flagship Morton F. Plant building in exchange for a strand of natural pearls were the two sales which anchored the firm's reputation in the United States. The firm, which opened the New York showroom in 1909, was well established in the United States by the 1950s, and like other retailers, purchased jewelry from American manufacturers who produced a catalog of designs for sale to retail jewelers. 

Tiffany & Co. at the same time was also already an established and flourishing enterprise, like Cartier, but similarly nowhere near the behemoth it is today. 

Both firms likely purchased each pair from an American manufacturer and retailed them after engraving them with their signatures and adding them to their respective inventories, as was common at the time, and still is today. Different elements of the design, like the scroll, the arrow-shaped finial and the platinum accents are all design components which may be put together in different permutations. 

It is still prevalent practice for jewelers to use outside workshops to produce one of a kind designs and/or jewels produced in volume. Over the years, I have seen a few variations of the dress clips by both firms on the secondary market, like these by Tiffany & Co. & another pair by Cartier.

Retro dress clips in tri-color 14K gold, Tiffany & Co., circa 1940

Retro sapphire & 14K gold dress clips, Cartier, circa 1940

I acquired these because both pairs are in excellent condition, with very little evidence of wear, and because I had not seen the matching pair of ear clips. Finally, the rubies are fine quality & Burmese, with no signs of abrasion, and all the fittings are original. These were likely sitting in a safety deposit box for decades.

Finally, the dress clips may be worn on lapels, around the collar of a dress, pinning a sari or a headscarf in place, or even on a pair of shoes.