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Ink Spots

John Lyon

Cartier, the 164-year-old French luxury house, is well known for its wide range of animal-inspired motifs, which have included likenesses of crocodiles, eagles, parrots, and dragonflies. However, amid this extensive bestiary, it is the familiar silver and onyx-spotted panther pattern that reigns supreme. In 1914, Louis Cartier unveiled his first panther-inspired design, a diamond pavé watch set with onyx spots, and, like a cat with nine lives, the panther has survived through the decades, adorning Cartier pieces ranging from bracelets and brooches to rings and pendants. The newest addition to the venerable panther line is the $9,800 Panthère de Cartier fountain pen, a follow-up to the solid silver, Deco-styled panther writing instrument recognized in Robb Report’s 2006 Best of the Best issue. The latest Panthère de Cartier pen sports a black lacquer barrel marked by a lustrous palladium-finished silver trim on the pen’s cap and a cabochon-cut onyx gem crowning the tip of the barrel. Clinging to the cap and serving as the pen’s visual focal point is a sterling silver panther accented with black lacquer spots and green, tsavorite eyes. Limited to just 188 examples, the Panthère de Cartier pen is now available at Cartier boutiques worldwide. (www.cartier.com)

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