Cartier on the Tiger Beat: Barbara Hutton Brooch Goes for $450,000

In 1957, Woolworth’s heiress/celebrated jewelry collector Barbara Hutton commissioned Cartier to design a diamond and onyx tiger brooch (not the house’s iconic panther!). Since then, Cartier’s tigers have become collector darlings. “There is something magical about the tiger that, even in the form of jewelry, gives us protective presence,” says Terry Chu, deputy head of the jewelry department at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. This later version was created in homage to Hutton’s floppy feline; while it’s not identical, it’s close. It sold for more than $450,000 at auction—more than twice its high estimate. Call it the high of the tiger.

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