Take a tour of Cartier’s glittery, jewel-filled mansion, which has special rooms for private shopping

source
Sarah Jacobs

Cartier’s New York beauty is shining once again.

The French brand’s flagship boutique in New York City reopened in September after two and a half years of extensive renovations.

The building, which dates back to 1905, was originally a six-story mansion home to the Plant family, and is situated on 52nd Street and 5th Avenue. As the area became the commercial corridor we know it as today, the Plants moved uptown and sold the house to Cartier in 1917.

Cartier refurbished the entire building with the help of renowned architect Thierry Despont. Wood paneling was refurbished, new chandeliers modeled after the originals were installed, and the 5th Avenue entrance was moved to the center of the building for symmetry purposes. The total square footage was expanded dramatically, going from 8,600 square feet to a whopping 44,100 square feet.

Cartier gave us a chance to see inside the mansion and take an up-close look at the precious items on display, some of which are worth millions and millions of dollars.


The Cartier Mansion is a six-floor former residence-turned-boutique located on the corner of 52nd Street and 5th Avenue in New York City. Anyone can tour the first four floors of boutique space, but the events space and roof deck above that are off-limits.

source
Cartier

As soon as you enter the Cartier Mansion, the enormous scale is apparent.

source
Sarah Jacobs

This first entry room also showcases the latest and greatest of Cartier’s collection, including a new southwest-inspired collection called Cactus de Cartier.

source
Sarah Jacobs

This prickly but elegant necklace is made from 18K yellow gold and emeralds, and set with 204 brilliant-cut diamonds. Like many of Cartier’s best pieces, the price is available upon request.

source
Sarah Jacobs

There’s also a portrait of Mae Caldwell Manwaring Plant, the wife of Morton F. Plant, who had originally owned the house.

source
Sarah Jacobs

But times changed, and the neighborhood became much more commercial. In 1917 the mansion was sold to Cartier for $100 in cash, plus a perfect double-stranded natural pearl necklace estimated to be worth $1 million at the time (about $20 million now).

source
Sarah Jacobs

That strand of pearls inspired this one, which was created in celebration of the mansion’s renovations. The original has sadly been lost to history, disappearing after selling for a fraction of its estimate in an estate sale after Mae Caldwell Manwaring Plant died.

source
Sarah Jacobs

In the renovations, a staircase was added above the home’s original 52nd Street entrance. A staircase was in the original home when it was a residence, and has been restored in a similar location.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Also featured in this main vestibule is Cartier’s Love collection. The bracelets are easily identifiable, cost about $6,000, and come with a screwdriver that the wearer must use to put them on. The bracelets are a favorite of celebrities and frequently make an appearance on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

source
Sarah Jacobs

The panther motif can be see throughout the mansion, like in this large painting. It’s a Cartier symbol dating back to 1914, when the brand’s advertising featured a panther.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The panther is now synonymous with the brand and has its own collection, Panthére de Cartier.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Source: Forbes


Upstairs, a mid-floor mezzanine for VIP clients hangs over the main floor. The furniture used throughout the mansion was sourced by Despont. Some of them are antique Cartier pieces, but many are brand new and created just for the boutique.

source
Sarah Jacobs

There’s a plush, closed-door salon for clients requesting a bit of privacy in their jewelry transactions.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The second floor is where the real magic happens. This brightly decorated room is known as the Princess Grace Salon after Grace Kelly, and it contains Cartier’s diamond collection.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Chief among them is Cartier’s engagement ring collection.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Many of the diamonds shine so brightly, their glimmer seems artificial.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The collection also includes non-engagement diamond rings.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Cartier is famous for its red gift boxes, which are highlighted throughout the mansion.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The eastern side of the second floor contains the brand’s high jewelry and vintage pieces.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Many of these are more elaborate and colorful than Cartier’s other designs.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The vintage jewelry pays homage to past Cartier pieces.

source
Sarah Jacobs

They play on Cartier’s storied past, putting it in context.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The oak paneling used throughout the home was salvaged and modeled into the new room designs. Some of the detailing is original.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The high jewelry salon is named after Elizabeth Taylor, a famous wearer of Cartier’s fine jewels.

source
Sarah Jacobs

These pieces are the most expensive and elaborate Cartier has to offer — they’re the shiniest of the shiny. There are large pearl necklaces …

source
Sarah Jacobs

… matching glimmering sapphires …

source
Sarah Jacobs

… and enormous diamond rings.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The mansion and the adjoining townhouse were made level during the renovation, and you can see clear from one side to the next on each floor.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The third floor is where wristwatches are given their chance to shine.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Cartier has a long history with making watches.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Arguably the most famous of Cartier’s watch offerings is the Tank, which is considered the most iconic watch to have a rectangular face.

source
Sarah Jacobs

They come in an incredible variety, including some that showcase the brand’s expertise with precious metals.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Men’s watches can be found in the Andy Warhol salon. Warhol was a noted fan of the Tank, and was frequently photographed wearing his.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The men’s Tank models were on display as well.

source
Sarah Jacobs

This room, filled with watches, is named after Gary Cooper, another noted fan of Cartier pieces. It’s encased in real leather wallpaper.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The price of Cartier’s watches can reach the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

source
Sarah Jacobs

We finish our tour on the fourth and final floor of retail, which hosts Cartier’s accessories collections.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Some of these accessories are more elaborate versions of the watches seen downstairs.

source
Sarah Jacobs

Some of the accessories are a little less practical, like this hawk-shaped desk pen.

source
Sarah Jacobs

The brand continues to have loads of appeal with celebrities and tastemakers. The Weeknd recently wore a similar panther ring on the cover of his new album.

source
Sarah Jacobs