FrontRunners: Good Deal
As an elaborate keepsake adorned with the image of a panther, the Cartier Exceptional Poker Set (www.cartier.com) follows suit with the gaming sets that the French jewelry house has been releasing since the 1930s. The art-deco-style box is made of sycamore, decorated with mother-of-pearl marquetry, and lined with Alcantara. Cartier has produced only five examples, each priced at $123,000. The box contains a sterling-silver dealer; red, blue, green, black, and white lacquer chips; and silver-edged playing cards. Its exterior is inlaid with red-garnet cabochons and varnished and polished by hand, giving the panther an appropriately elegant shine.