Hot Best Seller

The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire

Availability: Ready to download

"An enchanting jewel of a book."--Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy The captivating story of the family behind the Cartier empire and the three brothers who turned their grandfather's humble Parisian jewelry store into a global luxury icon--as told by a great-granddaughter with exclusive access to long-lost family archives "An enchanting jewel of a book."--Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy The captivating story of the family behind the Cartier empire and the three brothers who turned their grandfather's humble Parisian jewelry store into a global luxury icon--as told by a great-granddaughter with exclusive access to long-lost family archives The Cartiers is the revealing tale of a jewelry dynasty--four generations, from revolutionary France to the 1970s. At its heart are the three Cartier brothers whose motto was "Never copy, only create" and who made their family firm internationally famous in the early days of the twentieth century, thanks to their unique and complementary talents: Louis, the visionary designer who created the first men's wristwatch to help an aviator friend tell the time without taking his hands off the controls of his flying machine; Pierre, the master dealmaker who bought the New York headquarters on Fifth Avenue for a double-stranded natural pearl necklace; and Jacques, the globe-trotting gemstone expert whose travels to India gave Cartier access to the world's best rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, inspiring the celebrated Tutti Frutti jewelry. Francesca Cartier Brickell, whose great-grandfather was the youngest of the brothers, has traveled the world researching her family's history, tracking down those connected with her ancestors and discovering long-lost pieces of the puzzle along the way. Now she reveals never-before-told dramas, romances, intrigues, betrayals, and more. The Cartiers also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the firm's most iconic jewelry--the notoriously cursed Hope Diamond, the Romanov emeralds, the classic panther pieces--and the long line of stars from the worlds of fashion, film, and royalty who wore them, from Indian maharajas and Russian grand duchesses to Wallis Simpson, Coco Chanel, and Elizabeth Taylor. Published in the two-hundredth anniversary year of the birth of the dynasty's founder, Louis-Fran�ois Cartier, this book is a magnificent, definitive, epic social history shown through the deeply personal lens of one legendary family.


Compare

"An enchanting jewel of a book."--Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy The captivating story of the family behind the Cartier empire and the three brothers who turned their grandfather's humble Parisian jewelry store into a global luxury icon--as told by a great-granddaughter with exclusive access to long-lost family archives "An enchanting jewel of a book."--Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy The captivating story of the family behind the Cartier empire and the three brothers who turned their grandfather's humble Parisian jewelry store into a global luxury icon--as told by a great-granddaughter with exclusive access to long-lost family archives The Cartiers is the revealing tale of a jewelry dynasty--four generations, from revolutionary France to the 1970s. At its heart are the three Cartier brothers whose motto was "Never copy, only create" and who made their family firm internationally famous in the early days of the twentieth century, thanks to their unique and complementary talents: Louis, the visionary designer who created the first men's wristwatch to help an aviator friend tell the time without taking his hands off the controls of his flying machine; Pierre, the master dealmaker who bought the New York headquarters on Fifth Avenue for a double-stranded natural pearl necklace; and Jacques, the globe-trotting gemstone expert whose travels to India gave Cartier access to the world's best rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, inspiring the celebrated Tutti Frutti jewelry. Francesca Cartier Brickell, whose great-grandfather was the youngest of the brothers, has traveled the world researching her family's history, tracking down those connected with her ancestors and discovering long-lost pieces of the puzzle along the way. Now she reveals never-before-told dramas, romances, intrigues, betrayals, and more. The Cartiers also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the firm's most iconic jewelry--the notoriously cursed Hope Diamond, the Romanov emeralds, the classic panther pieces--and the long line of stars from the worlds of fashion, film, and royalty who wore them, from Indian maharajas and Russian grand duchesses to Wallis Simpson, Coco Chanel, and Elizabeth Taylor. Published in the two-hundredth anniversary year of the birth of the dynasty's founder, Louis-Fran�ois Cartier, this book is a magnificent, definitive, epic social history shown through the deeply personal lens of one legendary family.

30 review for The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    This book is almost a brilliant as the jewels described within it. Cartier is a name that one takes for granted as the premier jewelers in the world. It stands for beauty, quality, and unique design and was the favorite of all those who could afford to pass through their doors......from royalty to robber barons, Although the days of the ostentatious display of jewelry has passed. the name Cartier remains. Written by a member of the family and based on her conversations with and the diaries of This book is almost a brilliant as the jewels described within it. Cartier is a name that one takes for granted as the premier jewelers in the world. It stands for beauty, quality, and unique design and was the favorite of all those who could afford to pass through their doors......from royalty to robber barons, Although the days of the ostentatious display of jewelry has passed. the name Cartier remains. Written by a member of the family and based on her conversations with and the diaries of her grandfather, the author has done remarkable research into every aspect of the Cartier business and why it became the favorite of the rich and famous. It remained a family owned business for over 120 years and its reputation was built and maintained by her three great-uncles, each of whom ran one of the business locations (Paris, NYC, and London). Their expertise in design, innovation, and customer service was of the highest quality and the employees were treated as family. Loyalty to the business and very strict expectations helped the company through rough times such as revolutions and economic depressions. Eventually society changed but Cartier could not and the family reluctantly sold the business. An added attraction to this book are numerous photographs of the main players, famous customers and above all, the beautiful creations that will live on. I was enchanted and would recommend this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A very good (long) read from a very source (great great great granddaughter). Some fascinating sections and details, plus I learned some things about diamonds along the way. I enjoy history and biographies and this hit all the right notes. Recommended for history fans. I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Reena

    This a comprehensive and new look into the history of a now famous 'name'. While the author has a personal connection to the material, being a grandchild of one of the original Cartiers, the material comes across as unbiased and quite intriguing. Definitely worth a read even for those who are uninterested in jewelry, as the story passes through the history of France, England, America, and others, giving an interesting view into the times through the lens of art and fashion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

    Omg, I didn't realize this was going to be 700 pages long. RIP.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lilisa

    The Cartier name conjures up all things elegant, luxurious, and unmatched quality. At the height of its glory, Cartier ruled supreme - a testament to its founder Louis Francois Cartier, his son Alfred, and Alfred’s three sons who carried on their grandfather and father’s passion for creativity, innovation, superb quality, and impeccable customer service catapulted their family name into a global one much sought after by the rich and famous across several generations. Following the establishment The Cartier name conjures up all things elegant, luxurious, and unmatched quality. At the height of its glory, Cartier ruled supreme - a testament to its founder Louis Francois Cartier, his son Alfred, and Alfred’s three sons who carried on their grandfather and father’s passion for creativity, innovation, superb quality, and impeccable customer service catapulted their family name into a global one much sought after by the rich and famous across several generations. Following the establishment of the Cartier business in 1847, it flourished guided by Alfred and then his tight-knit family consisting of Louis’ three sons - Louis, Pierre, and Jacques with flagship stores in Paris, London and New York City. The story of the Cartiers is tracked against the backdrop of history - the 1848 European revolutions, travels to India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and the Far East seeking rare stones and conducting business with royalty, to Russia and their Romanov clients, through the two world wars, the Great Depression, British politics and coronations, and the rise of new money in the U.S. I enjoyed learning how the Cartiers were agile and flexible, leveraged challenges into opportunities, and kept pace with the changing times continuing to innovate and holding fast to “Never copy, only create” motto. This is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the older generation Cartiers and their families, told through the eyes of the founder’s great, great, great granddaughter. This is an absorbing and meticulously researched book, amazingly well written, and flows well. Overall a really good read but be prepared to have the Cartiers as companions for a while as the book is a bit of a tome at more than 600 pages. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    Using the resources of first account interviews with family members as well as a trunk full of correspondence, author Francesca Cartier Brickell tells her family’s fascinating history. Through multiple revolutions, world wars and economic downturns, the Cartier family business persevered. I found their resourcefulness completely fascinating. For example, during the Gilded Age, the family expanded their business to America to take advantage of the extravagances of the nouveau riche. During the Using the resources of first account interviews with family members as well as a trunk full of correspondence, author Francesca Cartier Brickell tells her family’s fascinating history. Through multiple revolutions, world wars and economic downturns, the Cartier family business persevered. I found their resourcefulness completely fascinating. For example, during the Gilded Age, the family expanded their business to America to take advantage of the extravagances of the nouveau riche. During the Great Depression, they turned eastward as neither Russia nor India was affected by that economic downturn. While the title implies new information, there are many sources of the history of the Cartier family business. These easily found sources are much shorter, but they don’t provide the depth of information about the family. Ms. Brickell’s account of her family history is well written, unbiased, and informative. This book is sure to appeal to jewelry lovers and history buffs alike. I received an advance copy of this book from Ballentine Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. For more reading recommendations, visit Book Junkie Reviews at www.abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Fascinating history of the Cartier Jewelry Empire. This was practically all new information for me. Appreciated the photos distributed throughout the book. I supplemented by going online to see the jewelry in color—more impactful than b/w. At 500+ pages of text there is a lot of detail that I found very interesting. I did receive an ARC of the book via Goodreads Giveaways.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gail Sarasohn

    A fascinating story about an iconic family. I will never look at Cartier jewelry the same again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I really enjoyed this history of the House of Cartier by Francesca Cartier Brickell.. As it turns out, it is about far more than just jewelry. The Cartiers were a fascinating family who lived through a lot. The book spans the years 1819-1974 and the three Cartier branches in Paris, London and New York. This period included so much tumult, the overthrow of several monarchies, multiple world wars and Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I really enjoyed this history of the House of Cartier by Francesca Cartier Brickell.. As it turns out, it is about far more than just jewelry. The Cartiers were a fascinating family who lived through a lot. The book spans the years 1819-1974 and the three Cartier branches in Paris, London and New York. This period included so much tumult, the overthrow of several monarchies, multiple world wars and economic crises, so a lot of history is covered. This does result in a very long book! However, Brickell does a great job of keeping things interesting the whole way through. I learned a lot and would recommend "The Cartiers" to anyone who enjoys history and a long read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Wagner

    I knew nothing of the Cartiers before starting this book. If you asked me what Cartier was about, I may not even have been able to tell you jewelry. I might have said perfume, or handbags. I'm no big subscriber of luxury items or labels. I have neither the money nor the aspiration. The thing about this book is, it's not exactly about the jewelry business. I suspect that this book would be really effective to a reader who had lots of knowledge about Cartier already, as this is a sort of I knew nothing of the Cartiers before starting this book. If you asked me what Cartier was about, I may not even have been able to tell you jewelry. I might have said perfume, or handbags. I'm no big subscriber of luxury items or labels. I have neither the money nor the aspiration. The thing about this book is, it's not exactly about the jewelry business. I suspect that this book would be really effective to a reader who had lots of knowledge about Cartier already, as this is a sort of never-before-told side of the Cartier history: that sourcing a long-lost steamer trunk packed with Cartier family correspondence. Sadly for me, the text assumes some familiarity with jewelry (I had my smartphone handy to reference terms like "lozenge cut") and leaves out some of the more sumptuous descriptions that I think may have added to the richness of this text. Also, I just had to Google some of the visuals: the Tutti Frutti collection, for instance. They were almost entirely absent from the book (at least from the advance reader copy I was kindly provided by the publisher). The best part was the main part: the history. Cartier was founded in 1847 and was closely and lovingly managed by immediate family until 1962, through multiple world wars, revolutions, shifts in global power and wealth, and not to forget, the rise and fall of various trends in luxury spending and fashion. In a way, this book was a brief on world history during those times, seen through the facets of luxury jewels. This book was quite long, and I wonder how hard it must have been to edit, seeing as each cut made to details of personal relationships was a removal from the manuscript of an actual letter or thread found in the aforementioned steamer trunk. The result in any case was almost 700 pages long. It was a really long book! It took me ages to finish, mostly because, as I said, it reads more like a history book than anything. Nothing really compelled me to keep turning the pages, even though they were agreeable to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    A Goodreads Giveaway book - I might not have bought it in the store, but, I am glad I got read it. It was very nice to delve into the history of a family that became synonymous with luxury and elegance, rising from very humble beginnings to wealth and fame - and, it is sad how that bond fell apart as the elder generations died off. I love jewelry, and reading about how some of the most iconic pieces in recent history were developed was very nice - I wish the pictures had been in color, though, A Goodreads Giveaway book - I might not have bought it in the store, but, I am glad I got read it. It was very nice to delve into the history of a family that became synonymous with luxury and elegance, rising from very humble beginnings to wealth and fame - and, it is sad how that bond fell apart as the elder generations died off. I love jewelry, and reading about how some of the most iconic pieces in recent history were developed was very nice - I wish the pictures had been in color, though, to see the splendor of the gems described. This was an advanced readers copy, and hopefully will go through a couple more edits before release, because there were a lot of spelling, grammar and layout errors that were a bit jarring. However, it really was an enjoyable read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I received this book as an ARC through a GoodReads giveaway. A long read but very interesting history about the Cartier family and the jewelry business.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I won this book from a GoodReads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book. It's not a book I would have normally read, but it was fascinating to read about the family and how they became the legends they are today. A little lengthy, but good.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This is a fantastic book. It is a slow read though. Take your time to savor and enjoy. I received this book as a free giveaway from Goodreads. Yay!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debra Pawlak

    I was given a free advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Cartier family brought jewelry making to a new level with their unique (and expensive) designs. From brooches to necklaces to watches, the name Cartier is synonymous with elegance, class and beauty. How it all began is an interesting story beginning with the first jewelry shop owner Louis-Joseph Cartier who was born in 1875. He started the ball rolling and passed it on to his son Alfred, but it I was given a free advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Cartier family brought jewelry making to a new level with their unique (and expensive) designs. From brooches to necklaces to watches, the name Cartier is synonymous with elegance, class and beauty. How it all began is an interesting story beginning with the first jewelry shop owner Louis-Joseph Cartier who was born in 1875. He started the ball rolling and passed it on to his son Alfred, but it was Alfred's three sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who turned the business into an art form. Their powerful and rich clients including royalty from around the world. The fact that the Cartiers survived revolutions, two world wars, and a depression is a testament to the brothers' hard work ethic and ingenuity to change with the times. Unfortunately, they did not pass these trairs down to all of their children and the three company stores were sold one by one to outsiders. The last hold out was the London store, which was run by Jean-Jacques, who tried his best, but he finally sold out in 1974. The Cartier story is beautifully told by Francesca Cartier Brickell--Jean-Jacques' granddaughter, but as a family member, she avoids the dirty laundry, which is understandable. It would be interesting to read a book about the family written by an objective biographer. My only other complaint was the pictures. When speaking of specific items (i.e., the Wilding boxes), it would have been nice to see a picture of what they looked like. I found myself stopping to look up several of the jewelry pieces and items online so I could see them. They were always breathtaking. The Cartier's legacy will last in the fabulous pieces they created and their unique story will not disappoint.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michele Lipford

    Very interesting story. I had no ideal all this was behind the family. I am glad I received this book from a goodread giveaway. It is not what I normally read but I liked it a lot.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I won this book on Goodreads Giveaways and I wasn't that excited when I read a bit more about it. I thought it would be so dry and full of historical facts about the jewelry giant Cartier and his descendants. However, about 10 pages in I realized I could not have been more wrong. While this book is definitely peppered with family facts, and too many people to keep up with it is amazingly well-written and interesting. The book focuses on the story of the Cartier jewelry empire, a family-owned I won this book on Goodreads Giveaways and I wasn't that excited when I read a bit more about it. I thought it would be so dry and full of historical facts about the jewelry giant Cartier and his descendants. However, about 10 pages in I realized I could not have been more wrong. While this book is definitely peppered with family facts, and too many people to keep up with it is amazingly well-written and interesting. The book focuses on the story of the Cartier jewelry empire, a family-owned business that started in the mid-1800s and has remained a part of the luxury jewelry scene even now. Much of the book is written based on a story told to Francesca Cartier Brickell by her grandfather, Jean-Jacques Cartier, whose grandfather (or was it his great-grandfather...see hard to recall exactly how it all worked out) founded Cartier. In addition to his memories she uses company records, auction records and many letters kept by her family to help her piece together both the personal history of the Cartiers and of their business history. It reads much like a novel rather than a traditional biography or history book which I really enjoyed. I'm not a big luxury jewelry buyer and I know I will never own anything by Cartier, however, I still truly enjoyed reading about each of the jewelry pieces and while it would have slowed the flow of the book down I did wish for more photos. Especially in reference to "iconic Cartier pieces" that were discussed in detail. There are some photos, which is great, but I wanted triple or more the amount of photos that were shown. Overall, a great biography of a really interesting family.

  19. 5 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    While this book of the Cartiers is well written and interesting enough, it's just too easy to get distracted by other things, including other books, when reading it. I'm not sure why that is, either. It's not like author Francesca Cartier Brickell has padded the book with trivial information or too many details. I would have stopped reading by page 50 if she had done that. In addition, while it's really long at over 500 pages, I would have to be at page 300 something to feel that it was too While this book of the Cartiers is well written and interesting enough, it's just too easy to get distracted by other things, including other books, when reading it. I'm not sure why that is, either. It's not like author Francesca Cartier Brickell has padded the book with trivial information or too many details. I would have stopped reading by page 50 if she had done that. In addition, while it's really long at over 500 pages, I would have to be at page 300 something to feel that it was too long; and I haven't even gotten to page 300, even though I have been reading it for months. I don't know . . . maybe the world of fine jewelry is just too materialistic for me. Seriously, when it comes to supplying gems and other expensive items to wealthy people, who really cares? Yes, I realize many do, and Ms. Brickell obviously put her heart and soul, as well as extensive research, into this book. Nevertheless, I guess the bottom line is I personally don't really care about the jewelry business . . . how much a precious stone is worth . . . who bought it . . . what happened to it after they bought it . . . how much money they had, or did have before they lost it all . . . how famous buyers were . . . how well each branch of Cartier was doing, etc. Gems are materialistic things you can easily live without, in my opinion. Obviously, there is no reason to try to finish the book. (Note: I received a free e-ARC of this book from Amazon Vine and a free e-ARC from NetGalley and the author or publisher. Yes, I know--both copies were wasted on me.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dholsten

    I found myself putting this book down several times because I just expected more revelations--especially since so much was touted with the "trunk full of letters, notes, etc." Instead, I was immersed with a constant weaving of historical and family info, with smatterings of name dropping goodies. Information that caught my attention was augmented with my own Internet research to delve further into the backgrounds. I found the images/photos very limited. I found the lack of in- depth exploration I found myself putting this book down several times because I just expected more revelations--especially since so much was touted with the "trunk full of letters, notes, etc." Instead, I was immersed with a constant weaving of historical and family info, with smatterings of name dropping goodies. Information that caught my attention was augmented with my own Internet research to delve further into the backgrounds. I found the images/photos very limited. I found the lack of in- depth exploration of the triad: the three brothers, to be surface revelations. What I truly appreciated were the challenges of The Great Depression and the World Wars on the expanded business locales. The brilliance of adjusting the offerings, the creation of simpler charms and coded jewels, was thought provoking and worthy of admiration. It seemed that each brother truly merited their own biography. As an introduction to the Cartier business, this book makes for a nice bridge, an appetizer round. In the many mentions of those that have possessed the stunning creations, very little if any African American purchasers are mentioned--which is a bloody shame. The impact of each brother's death on the families and with each branch of the early Cartier businesses is also not fully developed. Mentioning that Jacques' death was a guarded secret to prevent the Nazis from possessing the French location does not fully go into the other realities that existed, especially with how the personal artifacts from his wife were donated later on to a surprising source.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    This is beyond comprehensive when it comes to giving details and setting up each era and big event within the Cartier history. You can tell that it was written by a member of the family because all the negative things about family members get a bit glossed over or not even mentioned, but that's a minor detail compared to how well researched and presented it is. Cartier Brickell really went all-in when it came to fully showcase everything that the founders went through to create a brand that is This is beyond comprehensive when it comes to giving details and setting up each era and big event within the Cartier history. You can tell that it was written by a member of the family because all the negative things about family members get a bit glossed over or not even mentioned, but that's a minor detail compared to how well researched and presented it is. Cartier Brickell really went all-in when it came to fully showcase everything that the founders went through to create a brand that is truly synonymous with luxury even 50 years after it was sold off to outsiders. I hadn't really considered the connection, but luxury brands really lived and died with the great wealth of now gone dynasties and legendary millionaires. It's a bit like you're getting a quick history lesson along with the story of Cartier. Extra knowledge is always a plus when reading. The only reason I'm giving it four stars instead of five is that I really wish there were even tiny pictures of some of the big-ticket or iconic pieces. It took me forever to read this because I kept getting lost in a maze of Google searches and Wikipedia articles. On the positive side of that, I learned a lot about history and rich people from the beginning of the 20th century. Mandatory note: I got my copy through GoodReads' First Reads.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Wren

    Thoroughly accurate all the way through this book and it kept me enthralled every chapter bar none! The history of the Cartier brand and jewelry that we love all began with a grandfather and then his grandsons - three brothers, spread across Europe and the United States, who made it their motto to never duplicate anything - it must be an original stood the test of time then most likely to many a chagrin to a well respected and much sought after quality in fine workmanship today. Royalty to the Thoroughly accurate all the way through this book and it kept me enthralled every chapter bar none! The history of the Cartier brand and jewelry that we love all began with a grandfather and then his grandsons - three brothers, spread across Europe and the United States, who made it their motto to never duplicate anything - it must be an original stood the test of time then most likely to many a chagrin to a well respected and much sought after quality in fine workmanship today. Royalty to the upper crust of the first-class citizenry to our well known and beloved actors and artists have at some point and time all worn Cartier. If you want to read about money and the power that comes with that and yes, then this is your must-read. If you wanted it back then, Cartier was around and only too glad to help! The author does a spectacular job with documents found in a suitcase that belonged to her grandfather, creating and researching for this novel. The insight and information we gain into this very well known family is admiring. If you are looking for the perfect gift to give a loved one this Christmas...this book fits the bill every which way!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Cuthbert

    A deep dive into the Cartier family of jewelry fame, this part history/part biography was a very entertaining and interesting look not only at the family members who made the Cartiers who they are, but also the fact that this was written by a family member made it more of an intimate family history, which helped personalize and humanize the stories contained within this. Were it just a cut and dried history from an outside perspective, the rather hefty page count of this title would have been a A deep dive into the Cartier family of jewelry fame, this part history/part biography was a very entertaining and interesting look not only at the family members who made the Cartiers who they are, but also the fact that this was written by a family member made it more of an intimate family history, which helped personalize and humanize the stories contained within this. Were it just a cut and dried history from an outside perspective, the rather hefty page count of this title would have been a pretty big barrier to enjoyment. As it was, the fact that this was written by the great-grandaughter of the youngest Cartier brother provided what I felt was a more personal choice whose investment in uncovering what happened in her family was clearly demonstrated throughout the material. An excellent option for those looking for history as novel or are curious about the history of jewelry in general! (I received an ARC copy of this novel in a giveaway and appreciated the opportunity to give this book a look and provide honest feedback.)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I received The Cartiers as part of a Goodreads giveaway. A sweeping overview of the family that created the storied jewelry house, from its roots in turbulent early-19th century France, to Jean-Jacques, the founder's great-grandson who sold the family's final shares of company ownership in the 1960s. On the way, you'll meet a determined family whose ties built one of the most prestigious jewelry houses in the world, and whose later estrangements led to the breaking up and eventual sale of the I received The Cartiers as part of a Goodreads giveaway. A sweeping overview of the family that created the storied jewelry house, from its roots in turbulent early-19th century France, to Jean-Jacques, the founder's great-grandson who sold the family's final shares of company ownership in the 1960s. On the way, you'll meet a determined family whose ties built one of the most prestigious jewelry houses in the world, and whose later estrangements led to the breaking up and eventual sale of the company. I was a bit on my guard going in, given that the author is a member of the Cartier family (Jean-Jacques' granddaughter), but I felt it was a fairly even-handed portrayal of both the virtues and vices of various family members. I think she's naturally very protective of her grandfather's memory in particular, which is understandable but evident in the text. It's a very readable narrative, and the complex family dynamics--differing expectation, interests, and points of view--are universal. I found it a really interesting look at a company I didn't know much about.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Ule

    Up until the last section, this book was a definite 5 stars. It's just the type of book I like and so beautifully written. But in the last section, with the death of the signifcant three brothers, Brickell honored her grandfather's legacy with detailed stories of his life as the family business wound down. Lots of names that didn't mean much and a sluggish tale. I'd be interested in knowing what happened to her parent's generation--not specifically, but generally--but otherwise, this was an Up until the last section, this book was a definite 5 stars. It's just the type of book I like and so beautifully written. But in the last section, with the death of the signifcant three brothers, Brickell honored her grandfather's legacy with detailed stories of his life as the family business wound down. Lots of names that didn't mean much and a sluggish tale. I'd be interested in knowing what happened to her parent's generation--not specifically, but generally--but otherwise, this was an excellent biography. One other quibble--I had to read it with my Ipad so I could look up the jewels she described. The color photos were lovely and interesting, but didn't have labels. Even the endnotes in the back were not particularly good descriptions of the color photos--in contrast to the black and white photos about people throughout the book. Fortunately, the jewelry names and owners were easy to google.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Minton

    What a gift to be able to know and share such a lively, rich family history. If you enjoy: 1. Nonfiction spanning generations of a family 2. History - This book covers 4 generations so you’ll get their experiences through a lot of major events including world wars, the Great Depression etc. 3. Business, particularly self-made, family businesses and how they evolve and change with the times ...then I think you’ll find this book enjoyable. Cons 1. It’s LONG y’all. It takes up a lot of reading time. What a gift to be able to know and share such a lively, rich family history. If you enjoy: 1. Nonfiction spanning generations of a family 2. History - This book covers 4 generations so you’ll get their experiences through a lot of major events including world wars, the Great Depression etc. 3. Business, particularly self-made, family businesses and how they evolve and change with the times ...then I think you’ll find this book enjoyable. Cons 1. It’s LONG y’all. It takes up a lot of reading time. But I will say, I don’t know the first thing about luxury ANYTHING, and I still found it enjoyable and worthwhile. More than jewelry, it’s about family, hard-work, sacrifice and dreams which makes it relatable. 2. MANY people are introduced throughout the book. There are many similar/same-named family members, making it difficult to keep up with who’s who at times, especially if you are prone to putting a book down for a while and then coming back to it later.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

    This was a marvelous history of the rise of luxury consumer goods and of commercial jewelry sales in France, England, and America. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Brickell blended the history of the business with the socio-political environment and history of the Cartier family themselves. The writing is engaging and entertaining as well as informative. For a long and detailed historical portrait, it read in a surprisingly easy fashion, offering up excellent snapshots of time and place the painted This was a marvelous history of the rise of luxury consumer goods and of commercial jewelry sales in France, England, and America. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Brickell blended the history of the business with the socio-political environment and history of the Cartier family themselves. The writing is engaging and entertaining as well as informative. For a long and detailed historical portrait, it read in a surprisingly easy fashion, offering up excellent snapshots of time and place the painted vivid pictures that leapt off the page. I found myself turning to Google for additional information on a lot of the people and jewels described, as my Kindle only offered black and white photos that were not very large. This was a great find and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my review copy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. I didn't realize how long this book would be! It breaks down the Cartier history by point in time and explains how Cartier became the well-known, high-end name that it is today. From pearls to giant engagement diamonds this book spans the Cartier catalog and the history behind the pieces. While the author is a part of the Cartier family, I do wonder how some of the stories were put together. There's a I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. I didn't realize how long this book would be! It breaks down the Cartier history by point in time and explains how Cartier became the well-known, high-end name that it is today. From pearls to giant engagement diamonds this book spans the Cartier catalog and the history behind the pieces. While the author is a part of the Cartier family, I do wonder how some of the stories were put together. There's a lot of mention of how certain people were feeling or what they were thinking in terms of their relationships or situations, which seems wild given some of these things happened more than 100 years ago. I also would have liked some more pictures of the pieces. It's definitely a historical read, but with a focus on the family as people.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan Krich

    This book was given to me through Goodreads. It is about the Cartier family through many generations until the jewelry shops were no longer owned by family members. It is written by the great, great, great granddaughter of the founder. It is not a bare bones recital of facts but instead a very interesting story that paints a picture of the family members, the places they have been and how they weathered the upheavals of wars and recessions. I usually skim over introductions but this one is so This book was given to me through Goodreads. It is about the Cartier family through many generations until the jewelry shops were no longer owned by family members. It is written by the great, great, great granddaughter of the founder. It is not a bare bones recital of facts but instead a very interesting story that paints a picture of the family members, the places they have been and how they weathered the upheavals of wars and recessions. I usually skim over introductions but this one is so interesting that I read all of it. In part two the three owners were depicted separately. This made it easier to follow than if the story was a strict time line. Part three is divided into the three different stores also easier to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The Cartiers: the untold story of the family behind the jewelry empire, looks at the lives of the family across four generations. The benefit of this structure is that an enormous amount happens across the book. There are revolutions, wars, and massive culture shifts that the family business has to navigate. The downside is that there are so many people’s lives being traced that I lost track in places, and the different actors blurred together. There are so many family histories coming out right The Cartiers: the untold story of the family behind the jewelry empire, looks at the lives of the family across four generations. The benefit of this structure is that an enormous amount happens across the book. There are revolutions, wars, and massive culture shifts that the family business has to navigate. The downside is that there are so many people’s lives being traced that I lost track in places, and the different actors blurred together. There are so many family histories coming out right now, considering we apparently live in a golden age of genealogy research. The author, a Cartier herself, talks about being fueled by a desire to record the stories of her family legacy before the generations that were witness to them are gone. I liked that. It gives the story an interesting perspective that I enjoyed reading. So, although it was a chunky book that was occasionally slow going, I’m so glad I took the time to read it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.