Alexander the Great (?).This vibrant carving has previously been described as made of glass and as a product of the French Renaissance, but it is in turquoise, a rarity in cameos of any period. That it is reputed to have been in the Este collections may make an Italian origin likelier. It is not to be ruled out even that the stone is Hellenistic, from as early as the fourth century B.C.,but the heroic type of Alexander the Great’s profile was adopted by various Hellenistic successors.
Cartier presents its “Royal Collection” ahead of official presentation of the 2014 Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. The scene-stealer will be the Royal Pearl — all 166.16 grains or 8.3 grams of it — that boasts an illustrious provenance, having been the property of Queen Mary, wife of King George V. Cartier has incorporated the pearl as the centerpiece of a grand diamond necklace that can be also be worn as a tiara, and is completed with a pair of earrings.