The Cartier Jewels of Marjorie Merriweather Post
There are two things that are great equalizers for fashionable women: shoes and jewelry. No matter what your dress size, shoes and jewelry will never let you down. Marjorie Merriweather Post understood this fact very well. Although she loved clothes, she love jewelry even more. In her lifetime, she amassed an impressive collection of Cartier jewelry. She was one considered to be Cartier’s most important American client. To date, her jewels serve as one of the finest collections in Cartier’s extraordinary catalogs.
On Saturday, June 7th, the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens opened it’s “Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems” exhibit to the public. This beautifully curated exhibit takes you on an interesting voyage through Post’s very aristocratic life as told through her magnanimous jewelry collection. From the 1920s through the 1960s, Marjorie Post commissioned some of the most ethereal jewelry sets, accessories and jeweled frames. Each piece, mostly custom, has great meaning and represented various times in her life. Her design ideas for her Cartier jewelry were inspired by what was in vogue, her travels, and her own personal taste. She consistently turned to Cartier to adorn her with the finest jewels for all of the major moments in her esteemed life.
Included in this exhibit of incomparable Cartier jewelry are an exotic shoulder brooch made of seven carved Indian emeralds (my favorite piece in the collection), a glittering diamond and sapphire necklace, an amethyst and turquoise necklace & earrings, and a pearl and diamond necklace among other pieces. The exhibit also includes other collectibles such as a silver and enamel dressing table set, a beaded and platinum evening bag as well as fabulous portraits, paintings, and historic photos and correspondence. There are also several drop-dead gorgeous Haute Couture dresses that would make any vintage lover salivate. For me, the most interesting piece in the presentation was a vanity case that she wore as an accessory. The vanity case was worn on her finger which has a compact for powder and a case for lipstick (see above). So incredible.
If you are a true fashionista, this exhibit is a must-see, particularly if you are also a lover of fine jewelry and beautiful vintage Haute Couture.
Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems
June 7, 2014 – January 18, 2015
Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens
4155 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington DC
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Select Sundays, 1 to 5 pm.
Closed Mondays, most holidays, and for several weeks in January