Think of Cartier, and in among a sea of glittering diamonds and gold statement pieces your mind will likely conjure up an image of the signature Panthère, the emblem of the prolific French design house first established in 1847.
After 173 years, the jewellery and accessories label is still known for its sleek silhouettes and quality, timeless pieces, and throughout this time the Cartier Panthère has served as a recurring motif with its green eyes and stalking stature.
Now, in an ephemeral exhibition called Into the Wild, the big cat’s prolific legacy within the Maison will be detailed in an installation exclusive to the Atrium in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
Running from March 6 to March 17, the Into the Wild exhibit allows guests an intimate and immersive look into the evolution of the Panthère, first conceptualised and designed into jewellery by Cartier’s first female creative director, Jeanne Toussaint.
The exhibition will be segmented into three phases: the history and spirit of Jeanne Toussaint; the design and know-how of the collections; and an introduction to the Panthère Tribe of inspirational men and women from the past and present.
Both tactile and digitally integrated displays will showcase the metamorphosis of the emblem over the years and the work Toussaint dedicated to creating and continuing the legacy.
And of course, historic jewellery pieces from the Cartier archives will be on show, as will original design sketches and the craftsman tools that helped bring the Panthère to life.
Cartier says the symbol of the Panthère “encapsulates the fierce strength of the unique feline”. While patterns reminiscent of the big cat had appeared in jewellery designs from 1914, it wasn’t until 1948 that the Panthère appeared in its entirety in a yellow gold, 116-emerald, and black enamel brooch created for the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.
It wasn’t the only piece owned by the Duchess; an onyx and diamond bracelet previously owned by the royal went under the hammer in 2010, selling for £4.5 million (AU $8.7 million) at a Sotheby’s auction.
The Into the Wild Experience opens March 6 and runs until March 17 at The Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne.
Click here for further information or to book your session.