'Panthere de Cartier' bangle. The open cuff, with anodized panther terminals. Signed and numbered Cartier, 292619. Inner diameter 5.8cms. Total weight 50.3gms. 'Panthere de Cartier' bangle. The open cuff, with anodized panther terminals. Signed and numbered Cartier, 292619. Inner diameter 5.8cms. Total weight 50.3gms.

The history of the panther motif in fashion and design begins in the early 19th century.

In the 1900s, European art featured subjects of erotically-charged anthropomorphic panther figures. The ''lady-panther'' was depicted in works by both Belgian artists Walter Sauer and Fernand Khnopff.

Fernand_Khnopff_002 Fernand Khnopff, The Caresses (The Sphinx), 1896

The panther also became a style symbol thanks to Elsie de Wolfe, otherwise known as Lady Mendl, the American actress whose 1913 book The House in Good Taste was a trend-setter for the world's most glamorous homes.

Marlene Dietrich rented socialite Dorothy di Frasso’s Beverly Hills residence, which Lady Mendl decorated Marlene Dietrich rented socialite Dorothy di Frasso’s Beverly Hills residence, which Lady Mendl decorated
Image: Architectural Digest

Elsie was a New York, Paris, and London 'It Girl.' Her influential style led her to be commissioned to design the interior for New York's leading women's social club, the Colony Club, the architectural triumph of Stanford White. Exotic animal skins peppered the interior, making these patterns coveted around the globe.

So it came as no surprise that in 1914, jewellery giant Cartier dabbled with spots, when they released their first panther-patterned wristwatch and a year later a pendant watch with the same design feature.

61106369aa907a5551577db350093c45 George Barbier for Cartier

It was the French illustrator George Barbier that brought the panther to Cartier. Louis Cartier had commissioned Barbier in 1914 to create an exhibition invitation featuring an elegant women with a sleek, black panther in the background

By 1917, with Jeanne Toussaint at the helm as Cartier's creative director, Cartier pieces were embellished with full panther icons.

BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: Popperfoto/Christies/BNPS ***Not For Archive*** Tiger jewellry burning bright...the brooch. Yours for £1.5 million - The tiger jewellry bought by Edward VIII for Wallis Simpson, and then by Andrew Lloyd-Webber for Sarah Brightman. Christie's are auctioning a set of stunning tiger jewelry by Cartier that was first owned by the Duchess of Windsor and later given to Sarah Brightman by her former husband, Andrew Lloyd Webber after her triumph in the Phantom of the Opera. The two tiger pieces are comprised of an onyx and diamond clip brooch and bracelet, both of which were made in the 1950s and are to be sold as one lot by Christies on November 11th with a presale estimate of a whopping £1.5 million. 11th December 1959, The Duchess of Windsor (formerly Miss Wallis Simpson) at the Party which marked the Gala Opening of the new Lido Revue in Paris.

In 1948 the Duke of Windsor commissioned a present for the Duchess of Windsor: a 116.74-carat emerald rests a proud outstretched gold panther finished with black enamel. Delighted with the design, the Duchess of Windsor waited less than a year to expand on her jungle of jewellery, commissioning another brooch and an articulated bracelet of an outstretched panther in diamond and onyx with emerald eyes.

In 2014, the Duchess of Windsor's legendary jewellery collection were sold at Christie's having been consigned from the estate of Sarah Brightman, who was gifted the jewels by her then husband Andrew Lloyd Webber.

1-1 Princess Nina Aga Khan

Thanks to the Duchess of Windsor, panther pieces were now adorning the most stylish women of the world. Keen to copy the Duchess, in 1957, Princess Nina Aga Khan commissioned a brooch for herself.

Back in America, socialite and philanthropist Barbara Hutton also had panther pieces by Cartier made for her.

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Today, the rich and fabulous adorn themselves with Cartier panthers, one of the most popular pieces is variations of the Panthère ring.

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The 'Panthere de Cartier' bangle will be part of Fellows' Antique & Modern Jewellery sale on 14th September, 2017. The sale will also feature a stunning Cartier platinum diamond 'Lia' ring with rectangular-shape diamond, weighing 4.57cts which is estimated at £120 000-180 000. Check out more from Fellows here.

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