The playful panther originated in 1914 when Louis Cartier commissioned a painting of a woman sporting a long necklace with a panther at her feet. He loved this alluring painting so much that he used it in advertisements and it quickly became the symbol of Cartier. Cartier expert Geo Cramer explains that, “At the beginning of the twentieth century, big cats were en vogue for expressing femininity – in fact, the beast was seen as the ultimate expression of femininity.”
The first panther jewelry was made in 1935 by designer Jeanne Toussaint, “La Panthere” herself. Toussaint earned her sharp title thanks to her bold personality and feminine style which enticed Cartier. She was unafraid to include patterns in her jewelry, despite this being uncommon at the time. The Panthere rings were designed to look like the head of their namesake and were adorned with onyxes for the panther’s spots and emeralds for their sharp eyes. With a collection this fierce it’s clear why they rank among the top Cartier pieces of jewelry.