A bell-push


Jadeite, coral, diamond, silver gilt 3.5 x 9 x 4.75 cm (1.4 x 3.5 x 1.9 in.) Signed 'Cartier'

A Jeweled Silver Gilt and Enamel Bell-Push, on four coral and silver bun feet, the body designed as a solid block of jadeite, the round coral push-piece accented by a rose-cut diamond.

Electricity was a new, expensive commodity in late 19th and early 20th century Europe. Cartier, ever alert to new fashions and technology, created numerous table top and desk bell pushes used to summon servants.

The stately homes of the aristocracy and wealthy merchant class were often staffed with many servants. For centuries, when one needed to call for a servant, one walked over to the wall and used the "bell push". This was a long piece of fabric, often with a beautiful tapestry design with a tassel, that was attached to a cable that ran insade the wall down to the servants quarters "downstairs" and rang a bell when pulled.

With the invention of electricity, a simple button attached to an electrical wire could set off a buzzer or electric light downstairs, alerting the servants to who needed their assistance.


FD Gallery


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