MID050-02.jpg (50985 bytes) New York Architecture Images- Midtown





651 Fifth Ave., at E52.


c. 1880


Renaissance Revival


stone facade (former mansion of Morton Freeman Plant, bought from Morton Plant and his wife, in exchange for a pearl necklace, valued at the time at $1 million by Cartier in 1917).






  Rendering copyright Simon Fieldhouse. Click here for a Simon Fieldhouse gallery.
Cartier SA is a jeweller and watch manufacturer that is a subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. It is known for numerous pieces including the famous "Bestiary" – best illustrated by the famous Panthère brooch of the 1940s created for Wallis Simpson, the diamond necklace created for Yadavindra Singh the Maharaja of Patiala and in 1904 the first practical wristwatch, the "Santos."


Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. In 1874 his son, Alfred Cartier took over the administration of the company, but it was his sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the world-wide brand name of Cartier.

Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, moving to the Rue de la Paix, in 1899. He was responsible for some of the company's most celebrated design innovations, like the mystery[vague] clocks, fashionable wristwatches and exotic orientalist Art Deco designs, including the colourful "Tutti Frutti" jewels. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current address at New Bond Street.

Pierre Cartier established the New York branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to the current location of 653 Fifth Avenue, the Neo-Renaissance mansion of Morton Freeman Plant, son of railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant. This was bought from Morton Plant and his wife, in exchange for a pearl necklace, valued at the time at $1 million. Among the Cartier team was Charles Jacqueau, who joined Louis Cartier in 1909 for his entire life, and Jeanne Toussaint, who was Director of Fine Jewelry from 1933 on. After the death of Pierre in 1964, Jean-Jacques Cartier (Jacques's son), Claude Cartier (Louis's son), and Marionne Claudelle (Pierre's daughter) — who respectively headed the Cartier affiliates in London, New York and Paris — sold the businesses.

In 1972 a group of investors led by Joseph Kanoui bought Cartier Paris, whose President became Robert Hocq, the creator of the concept of "Les Must de Cartier"[vague] in collaboration with Alain Dominique Perrin, General Director of "Les Must de Cartier." In 1974 and 1976 respectively, Cartier London and Cartier New York were bought back. In 1979 the Cartier interests were combined together, creating "Cartier Monde" uniting and controlling Cartier Paris, London and New York.

Cartier's largest and most luxurious[vague] stores are found in New York, Beverly Hills, Waikiki, Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, London and Vancouver.