ANIMAL INSTINCTS

Options are amazing but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. With so many new trends coming out each year, sorting through them all can be a bit of a beast. Our MC pro-tip? Keep it classic. Fashion is cyclical but style is personal — so the perfect piece of jewelry is usually just a balance of both! Leaning into duality and decadence, one of our favorite OG trends has been immortalized in fashion history — despite its 9 lives. 

It’s hard to be humble when you’re the queen of the jungle, and this fierce feline has earned its place at the top of the jewelry food chain. Featured in everything from artifacts to accessories, the cat was held in incredibly high regard by the Ancient Egyptian people, who believed that these animals were so magical that fortune was brought to those who housed them. The Ancient Egyptians also viewed feline iconography as an extension of Bastet — the goddess and keeper of both the hearth and home. These deity-like creatures were so revered in early Egyptian culture that they created an entire faction of government dedicated to finding and returning cats that had been smuggled from their land. Given their meaning, it’s no surprise that Egyptians would want to fashion themselves quite literally in good fortune — and so pendants of cats were crafted, carved, and worn.  While the cats depicted in early Egyptian jewelry were typically domestic, its meaning extended to all breeds of cats — including those found in the wild.  The influence of Egyptian symbolism and style spread, spanning civilizations from ancient to modern alike. 

 

Centuries later, Jeanne Toussaint became the Creative Director of luxury jewelry house Cartier in 1913.  Just one year later, Toussaint created a nod to the Ancient Egyptian feline iconography — and cat jewels were back and bigger than ever.  Featuring the panther as a prominent motif, Toussaint found a muse in wild cats, continuously inspired by safari trips and frequent visits to the Paris Zoo. Later nicknamed “La Panthere”, Toussaint rolled out Cartier’s now iconic panther print with a wristwatch in 1914. The panther appeared again on that year’s holiday card, beginning its true enmeshment with the elite brand. The first 3D Cartier “Panthère” piece was a bracelet commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for the Duchess and featured a 116.74 carat emerald from the Duke’s personal collection. From that point forward Panthère pieces became a sought-after status symbol and even today remain some of the highest selling jewelry pieces actioned at Sotheby’s. 





While the history of cat jewelry encompasses everything from seeking good fortune to showing it off, at MC this beloved style represents the bravery to be your truest self - untamed and natural. Above all else, jewelry is a form of self-expression and as a brand, our hope is to champion and outfit you on that journey. 

Looking for fierce finds on Marrin Costello? Shop our Brave Series HERE.

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