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The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire Hardcover – November 26, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 519 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“[Brickell’s grandfather’s] accounts are the beating heart of The Cartiers, elevating this from a company story to a human story—one even the unadorned will read with pleasure.”The New York Times Book Review

“[A] hard-to-put-down account of the generations of the Cartiers and the famed jewels of the global dynasty.”Forbes

“Artfully documented . . . The story of the Cartier family is the story of wealth creation in the 19th and 20th centuries as it moved in waves from country to country.”Bloomberg

Selected among “The Best Gifts to Give Your Sister for the Holidays”Harper’s Bazaar

“A thoroughly researched and enjoyable family business history that should appeal to history buffs and lovers of high-end fashion and jewelry alike.”Library Journal

“In glittering . . . prose, Francesca Cartier Brickell excavates lost family archives and shares with us how three brothers turned a small Parisian ship into a worldwide icon of love and luxury. Part family story, part jewelry-lover’s dream, part history—this gem . . . of a book will have a little something for everyone.”LitHub

“[A] fascinating history written by a scion of Louis-Francçois Cartier . . . With diplomacy, artistry, originality, and a clear love of their work, the saga of the three Cartier brothers and their descendants is as lush as their jewels.”Read It Forward

“This is an incredible monograph that chronicles the rise and family dynamics of one of the most prestigious and internationally known jewelry brands linked to the family that built it ‘brick by brick.’ Ms. Brickell . . . proffers a very detailed and somewhat intimate story of the Cartiers. . . . Whether she is writing about the ascension of the brand or the way in which it created its signatures, the author conveys a sense of loyalty.”New York Journal of Books

“An enchanting jewel of a book.”—Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy

“Four generations of genius, glamour, and ambition are laid bare in Francesca Cartier Brickell’s behind-the-scenes account of the Cartier family. Part social history, part affectionate memoir, The Cartiers is a pleasurable stroll through the glittering byways of a more elegant age.”—Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author of A World on Fire

“Francesca Cartier Brickell skillfully traces her family’s astounding history through the contents of a weathered suitcase found in her grandfather’s cellar. The result is a fascinating account of the Cartier brothers and the creation of this iconic and enduring luxury brand.”—André Leon Talley, bestselling author of A.L.T.: A Memoir

About the Author

A graduate in English literature from Oxford University, Francesca Cartier Brickell is a direct descendant of the Cartier family. Her great-great-great grandfather founded Cartier in 1847. Her late grandfather, Jean-Jacques Cartier, was the last of the family to manage and own a branch of the world-famous jewelry firm. Leaving behind a career in finance to focus on independently researching her family history, Francesca has spent over a decade travelling the world in search of the real story behind the Cartiers. She is an accredited GIA jewelry professional and lectures internationally and online on Cartier's illustrious history. She lives with her husband and children in London and the South of France.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Ballantine Books; Illustrated edition (November 26, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 656 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 052562161X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0525621614
  • Item Weight : 2.15 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.38 x 1.65 x 9.53 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 519 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
519 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Alok Kejriwal
5.0 out of 5 stars A PhD in Business, Creativity and Life. A textbook beyond compare.
Reviewed in India on March 8, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A PhD in Business, Creativity and Life. A textbook beyond compare.
Reviewed in India on March 8, 2020
The Cartiers - Book Review.

I STUDIED this book vs reading it. Page by page, 600 pages. For me, it was a PhD in Business, Creativity & Philosophy.

What I learned:

- The AMAZING ability of the Cartier family to find inspiration from what they saw around them. Paris Balcony designs became Cartier's "Garland" style jewels. When Tanks rolled into Paris during WW1, that became the "Tank" watch. Visits to India were the inspiration for "tutti frutti" jewellery (Indian gems had lots of colour) & the lions & panthers gave way to the animal jewellery so famously Cartier.

- The HARD HARD HARD work that went into building Cartier. From scratch to becoming a global brand, it took long sea voyages, visits to dangerous countries, appeasing temperamental clients & surviving 2 world wars to become an institution.

- The amazing rule "Never Copy. Only Create".

- The fact that Cartier brothers would GO to clients to do sales vs clients coming to them. This was a shocker to me but a humble reminder of how sales works!

- The shock of the Cartier business being sold by its inheritors to different buyers

- Lots of amazing quotes.
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10 people found this helpful
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Fiona I
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Read on Kindle
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! Highly recommended!
Reviewed in Canada on September 18, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars SImply fabulous
Reviewed in India on March 11, 2020
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Roy Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Cartier for ever!
Reviewed in Canada on March 1, 2021
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