—Elegant and exotic, stylish and sophisticated,
some of the most remarkable pieces by the renowned jewelry
firm Cartier, created for one of its most devoted American
clients, are on view in a special exhibition opening this summer
in Washington, D.C. Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s
Dazzling Gems will be on view at Hillwood Estate, Museum and
Gardens from June 7 to December 31, 2014.
Marjorie Post and a selection of her Cartier pieces from
Hillwood were featured in Cartier—Style and History, this past
winter’s sweeping exhibition on the history of the famed jeweler
at the Grand Palais in Paris. This selection of jewelry and luxury
objects has been expanded and refined for Cartier to offer a
new perspective on the taste and refinement that characterized Post’s style, her criteria for
collecting, and her way of life. Cartier’s exceptional hand craftsmanship, its roots in refined French
style, and the exquisite beauty of its pieces made the jewelry maker a perfect match for the
discerning Post when she first started collecting in the 1920s, and she remained one of Cartier’s
most important clients for the rest of her life. Today, Post’s holdings at Hillwood represent one of the
best examples of Cartier patronage in the 20th
century. The most important pieces in the collection,
including an exotic brooch made of seven carved Indian emeralds and considered to be one of
Cartier’s finest creations, will be rejoined with several prized jewels that Post donated to the
Smithsonian in 1964, including the brooch’s companion Indian-style emerald necklace and the

famous Maximilian Emerald ring, on loan from the National Museum of Natural History for Cartier:
Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems.
“Though the astounding jewels were statement makers for Marjorie Post, these and her
whole collection of Cartier luxury objects really speak to her impeccable way of life,” explained
Hillwood executive director Kate Markert. “Marjorie didn’t just purchase jewelry off the shelf. She was
a connoisseur who knew gems and chose only those of the highest quality. She recognized great
design and knew how to wear her jewelry to show it to its best advantage,” Markert continued.
Post also commissioned picture frames of the highest
quality to coordinate with her miniature photos and paintings. The
marriage of beautiful materials and highly skilled, of the moment
design with these deeply personal images is evidence of Post’s
unsurpassed attention to detail. A selection from this extensive
collection of Art Deco jeweled frames at Hillwood, along with other
personal luxury items, including a silver and enamel dressing table
set and bejeweled evening cases as well as glamorous portraits,
paintings, historic photos, design drawings, and correspondence,
will also be part of the exhibition to illustrate the persistent
presence of Cartier in Post’s life and in her collections.

Marjorie Post and Cartier
Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems will include show stopping jewels, precious
frames, jeweled boxes, paintings, and personal documentation to provide an intimate look at

Post’s patronage of Cartier was emblematic of her lifelong passion for collecting objects of the finest
craftsmanship, historical significance, and true splendor. “Along with other pieces from the most
notable jewelers of the 20th
century, Post’s Cartier jewels, frames, and objets d’art compose a
collection that today is a very important aspect of Hillwood’s holdings,” explained Hillwood’s director
of collections and exhibition curator, Liana Paredes. “Post’s interest in Cartier coincided with the very
apex of its rise toward becoming one of the 20th
century’s most distinguished jewelers,” Paredes
continued. “This exhibition of Post’s most important Cartier acquisitions offers a snapshot of the very
time at which Cartier in the 1920s boldly embraced the modern sensibilities of the Art Deco period
and attracted the interest of the world’s most visible and fashionable clientele.”
Founded in Paris in 1847, Cartier’s iconic status was solidified at the turn of the century after
Louis Cartier, grandson of the firm’s founder, and his two brothers, Pierre and Jacques, opened their
prominent rue de la Paix store in 1899 and, in response to the changing world, ushered in a new
modernity at Cartier. Around the time that Cartier opened its New York store in 1909, Post was
developing her taste for collecting as she furnished her elegant new interiors with the arts of late

-century France, in particular the neoclassical style of Louis XVI—a style that was in vogue
among New York’s fashionable society. This newfound passion, combined with her partiality for the
modern, was timed just right to this turning point at Cartier, when a simplified approach to its classic
Louis XVI style set it apart from the other jewelry houses. Post became known as Cartier’s best New
York client and a lifelong customer. Her purchases ranged from the stylized jewels of the Art Deco
period, to the finely-crafted frames, to the colorful creations of the 1950s.

Exhibition Highlights
The exhibition opens with two Cartier frames, the earliest pieces in the show, which illustrate the
Louis XVI-style influence while also predicting, with their Fabergé-influenced enameling, the
powerful attraction that Russian art will have for Post in the coming decades.
A selection of stunning emerald pieces represents both the jeweler’s and client’s interest in
historic gems. A magnificent 21 carat Colombian emerald that once had been set in a ring worn by
the ill-fated emperor of Mexico, Maximilian was remounted by Cartier for Post in a trendy setting of
baguette diamonds whose geometric cut established the ring firmly in the Art Deco style. Post wore
it for her presentation to the court of St. James’s in 1929 and
donated it to the Smithsonian in 1964. The well-known emerald
brooch displayed alongside the necklace on loan from the
National Museum of Natural History together will illustrate the
enchantment of the Indian style that Cartier produced from the
late 1910s to the 1930s, when Post acquired them. The brooch
boasts remarkable old cut emeralds, including seven 17th

century carved Mogul emeralds weighing a total of 250 carats.
The necklace features 24 baroque-cut emerald drops, each
topped with a smaller emerald bead. It was originally a sautoir—
a longer necklace that could be worn with the brooch as a
pendant—that she had shortened to adapt to new fashion
dictates in 1941.
A diamond and sapphire necklace is an impressive example of the transformations that
Cartier jewels often underwent over time in response to evolving tastes or owners. For this piece,
Post instructed Cartier to combine two existing diamond and sapphire bracelets to form one
necklace. The centerpiece, a large cushion-shaped sapphire surrounded by

cascading diamonds,
could be detached and worn separately as a brooch. Among the other important jewelry pieces on
display are an arrow-shaped brooch with dangling tassels of diamonds that Post used as a clasp for
her magnificent strands of pearls and a necklace and earrings made of amethysts, turquoises,
diamonds, and platinum that show the adherence of Post and Cartier to the latest fashions

In addition to the selection of frames, made of agate, enamel, or onyx and adorned with
semiprecious stones that Post commissioned in the 1920s and 1930s, other luxury items on view
reflect the fashionable trend among Cartier’s clients to appoint their environments with elegant and
precious objects. Among those on view are a tobacco jar made of jade, gold, enamel, and sapphires;
vanity cases of gold, enamel, lapis lazuli, diamonds, and sapphires; and a silver and enamel
dressing table set consisting of a jewelry box, glass bottles, brushes, hand mirror, shoe horn, lace
hook, and a nail file, all monogrammed with MC for Marjorie Close—her name during her first
marriage—reflecting the trend among Cartier’s most fashionable clients to appoint their
environments with elegant and precious objects.

Programs and Events
An array of programs and events, including a lectures series in fall 2014, will explore the many
design and social aspects that underpinned the relationship between Cartier and Marjorie Post.
Several audio tour stops will explore the story of the exhibition’s most revealing pieces.
An opening night celebration will be held on June 3. Inspired by Post’s grand affairs at
Hillwood, Be Dazzled will include an evening of cocktails on the Motor Court and dinner on the
Lunar Lawn. Visit www.HillwoodMuseum.org or call (202) 243-3974.

The exhibition is supported by the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation, Ellen MacNeille
Charles, Doyle New York, Auctioneers & Appraisers, Dina Merrill Hartley, Huntington T. Block
Insurance Agency, Inc., Donald G. Preston, Jr. and Frank C. Torres III, Susan and David Thoms,
and Diane B. Wilsey. All exhibitions and programs are funded in part by the U.S. Commission on
the Fine Arts through the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program.

Hillwood Background
When art collector, businesswoman, social figure, and philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post left
to the public her northwest Washington, D.C. estate, she endowed the country with the most
comprehensive collection of Russian Imperial art outside of Russia, an exquisite18th
-century French
decorative art collection, and 25 acres of serene landscaped gardens and natural woodlands.
Opened as a public institution in 1977, today Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens offers a
gracious and immersive experience unlike any other. Highlights of the collection include Fabergé
eggs, Russian porcelain, Russian orthodox icons, Beauvais tapestries, and Sèvres porcelain, and
Post’s personal collection of apparel, accessories, and jewelry. Thirteen acres of enchanting formal
gardens include the Japanese-style Garden, Rose Garden, French Parterre, and a greenhouse full
of orchids.Page 5—Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
4155 Linnean Avenue NW Washington, DC 20008 (202) 686-5807 HillwoodMuseum.org #CartierMMP

General Information
What: Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems
When: June 7-December 31, 2014
Where: 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007
Information: www.HillwoodMuseum.org or call (202) 686-5807
Follow us Facebook.com/HillwoodMuseum
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm
Open on select Sundays from 1 to 5 pm
Closed Mondays, most national holidays, and for two weeks in January

Café: The Café serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Afternoon Tea is served on Sundays only from 1 to 3:30 pm.
Express Dining,
featuring a quick selection of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and beverages is available
Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.
(202) 686-5807 for café reservations
Suggested $15; $12 for seniors (65 and older); $10 for college students; $5 for visitors age 6 to
Donation: to 18. Donation waived for visitors under age 6.

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