Jean Cocteau - Metamorphosis

Exhibition from November 10, 2018, through March 10, 2019

Until March 10, 2019, the Cartier Collection will be on display at the Design Museum Den Bosch for the first major retrospective on Jean Cocteau in the Netherlands.

Jean Cocteau - Metamorphosis sheds light on the many facets of ‘The Frivolous Prince’, a central figure of the avant-garde. Writer, poet, playwright and filmmaker, Cocteau was a pioneer of the multidisciplinary approach to creativity, trying his hand at designing jewelry among other objects. The Cartier Collection provides a remarkable example with the academician’s sword he received when he was inducted into the Académie Française in 1955. Created by Cartier and based on a drawing by Cocteau, it is imbued with symbols that the poet held very dear. Orpheus’ profile forms the handguard, his lyre makes up the pommel, and the six-pointed star, Cocteau’s trademark signature, decorates the crossguard. The same imagery is found in an unpublished sketchbook of his, probably produced during a trip to New York in 1949. Further evidence of the link between Jean Cocteau and Cartier is the Trinity ring, two of which the poet liked to wear on his pinkie and which he made popular in Paris at the time.

For more information about the exhibition:

Jean Cocteau - Métamorphosi - Poster



Academicians sword

Academician’s sword made for Jean Cocteau

Cartier Paris, 1955


Gold, silver
Emerald, rubies, diamond
Blue enamel
Steel blade


Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

Jean Cocteau - Sketch book

Jean Cocteau's J'arrive à New York Janvier 1949 sketch book



Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

Trinity ring

Trinity ring

Cartier, circa 1985


Yellow gold, pink gold, white gold


Private Collection

Katel Riou © Cartier