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Summary

"A dynamic group biography studded with design history and high-society dash.... [This] elegantly wrought narrative bears the Cartier hallmark." (The Economist)

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.

"Ms. Cartier Brickell has done her grandfather proud." (The Wall Street Journal)

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 20th 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 200th anniversary year of the birth of the dynasty’s founder, Louis-François Cartier, this audiobook is a magnificent, definitive, epic social history shown through the deeply personal lens of one legendary family.

©2019 Francesca Cartier Brickell (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“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 best-selling 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, best-selling author of A.L.T.: A Memoir

The Cartiers is the sparkling saga of one of the globe’s most iconic jewelry dynasties, beautifully recounted by a direct descendant of the company’s founders. With her insider’s understanding of the family business, a historian’s precision, and a novelist’s keen eye for personal detail, Francesca Cartier Brickell has created a seeming contradiction: an epic yet personal chronicle.” (Rhonda K. Garelick, author of Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History)

What listeners say about The Cartiers

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Fascinating historical account of a world brand.

Most of us will never own a cartier piece of jewellery but my appreciation of quality increased tenfold after listening to this story about an iconic brand.

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Very good read

I really enjoyed this book and the narration was spot on. Lovely voice. The story is a wonderful saga of this family and the incredible changing times they lived through. Amazing tales of fabulous wealth of their customers and dedication to beauty and excellence of the Cartier brothers. It’s a perfect audiobook. I’m finding long books ideal to listen to rather to read!

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  • Christian S
  • 15-12-19

The most amazing story

Francesca takes you through the history of Cartier in novel like fashion. The story isn’t nearly a timeline and facts, but an escape of a story of how events came to be. The Precision, the care the style the design that went into every perfect detail of Cartier is laid out here. The book filled with anecdotes and journeys that will take you around the world meeting kings, queens, rulers and the most elite heiresses. A fascinating read up to the very last sentence..

8 people found this helpful

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  • BB
  • 12-01-20

Wonderful Experience to Listen to This Story

This is one of the rare Audible books I have listened to where I ordered two copies of the bound book for myself and a dear friend and I highly recommend doing so. The author has admirably covered several centuries of the Cartier’s responsible for the international company and their beautiful works of art. Having the genealogy chart and the many photos that are in the book make this listening experience even more wonderful. This is one of those rare occasions, however, when the narrator’s performance is so superb it is not to be missed. Plaudits to the author for doing such a great job of telling her family’s remarkable story.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Spencer
  • 06-02-20

A New Favorite

I am both a history lover as well as a BIG lover of jewelry and this book checked all my boxes. Wonderfully researched, wonderfully written, and wonderfully read aloud by Hattie Morahan. This was a pleasure start to finish. Truly cannot recommend this book enough if you are at all interested in the topic

5 people found this helpful

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  • Leslie
  • 04-04-20

Fascinating, well-written, and even amazing.

Never would have imagined that a jewelry "store" had such a long and fascinating history. It's a real adventure to follow the lives of the Cartier founder, his sons and grandsons, their wives and children, and the many changes in society and the world they lived through. Never would have imagined so much went into designing, making and selling jewelry. Never realized the Cartiers provided some of the most extraordinary jewelry ever designed and worn by kings, queens, empresses, duchesses, maharajas...oh my! Not for years have I enjoyed a book so much.

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  • Wiserolder
  • 22-11-20

I loved this book!

This was a wonderful read. Four generations of geniuses who made the brand synonymous with the very finest in jewelry because of the quality of their stones and unique refined designs. This book reads like a novel. You will come to love the three brothers who took the jewelry business to new heights, visited exotic lands and were trusted by their distinctive clientele. Oh and the jewelry-fabulous darlings!

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  • Estefanía Shulca
  • 07-11-20

The best book of the year! I just love it

Every single piece of the story was so well described, with lots of details and with such a charm. A marvelous job. Looking forward to get more books from the author.

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  • Celeste
  • 19-10-20

Fantastic history and narration!

What a well researched book. Such colorful history and the narration was excellent. I’m sure I’ll read it again in the future!

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  • RS
  • 26-09-20

Reality Escapism

Lovingly, beautifully, and honorably written and read. A family story weaving interestingly with world history.

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  • Lucinda Maushardt
  • 23-09-20

Fascinating history of the timeless world of Cartier

This book is an amazing chronicle of a family dedicated to finding exquisite jewels, forming amazing friendships and cultivating relationships, while creating exquisitely and meticulously crafted jewelry. It is inspirational and historically told with curiously attentive detail. I googled most piec

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  • c
  • 15-09-20

Interesting

It was interesting to hear the story of the family that ran the famous Cartier jewelry empire.