Cartier Etourdissant collection

Earlier this month, in an extraordinary villa in Cap d'Antibes, South of France, Cartier's new high jewellery collection Etourdissant (literally "dazzling" or "stunning") was displayed across several airy rooms, along with examples of the maison's fine jewellery and archival pieces. High jewellery is supposed to be particularly special – one of a kind pieces that pay tribute to a maison's heritage but are entirely singular and never to be repeated. The Etourdissant collection couldn't be more true to the concept. Rather than running with a motif, Cartier has simply taken the most dazzling materials and created mesmerisingly beautiful jewels. The belle of this ball was the Romanov bracelet, a diamond cuff sporting a colossal 197.80-carat cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire (roughly the size of a matchbox) with a fascinating past, including being worn by the Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, who went on to become the Empress of Russia. One of Cartier's clients had purchased it already by the time the press got to see it, meaning this important stone will soon disappear again into private – and very fortunate – hands.