JEWELLERY EDUCATION – Jacques Cartier’s descendant, author Francesca Cartier Brickell, presents her Cartier book in Bahrain


The historian and scion of the famous Cartier family, Mrs Francesca Cartier Brickell, concluded her trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain during which she was hosted by the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (DANAT). The visit was made over a century after her great-grandfather, Jacques Cartier, first came to the island in the early 20th Century.

Jacques Cartier's descendant, author Francesca Cartier Brickell

DANAT organised a comprehensive programme for Mrs Cartier Brickell’s visit to Bahrain. The tour included her attendance at DANAT’s stand at the Jewellery Arabia Exhibition, during which she attended a signing for her book The Cartiers, which chronicles the history of her family and its role in the jewellery trade.  Citizens and residents manifested strong demand for this book, and some of them went to the exhibition just in order to buy it.

Ms. Francesca gave a lecture that inspired interaction from visitors to the exhibition, who listened to aspects of the family connection found by Mr. Cartier, in the Arabian Gulf region and Bahrain in particular, and a number of stories and photographs that date and document that period.

Mrs Cartier Brickell’s itinerary included a visit to Muharraq Governorate and the diving and natural pearl diving areas. She learned about the developments that have occurred in the field of pearl diving and trade during the past century.

Jacques Cartier's descendant

She was able to examine the Kingdom of Bahrain’s role in reviving and preserving this invaluable and historic enterprise thanks to DANAT and others.

Under the coordination of DANAT, a memorial photo was taken of Mrs. Cartier Brickell in the same position in which her grandfather, Mr. Cartier, sat during his visit to Bahrain in 1912, about 110 years ago, and next to her are the grandchildren of those who appeared in the previous photo with Mr. Cartier. 

Jacques Cartier's descendant, author Francesca Cartier Brickell

In the old photo dating back to 1912, from right to left, we see Yousif bin Ahmed Kanoo, Salman bin Hussain Mattar, Jacques Cartier, Muqbel bin Abdulrahman Al Thakir, and Abdulrahman Al Ibrahim. In 2022, the picture of the grandchildren, from right to left, shows Fawzi bin Ahmed Kanoo, Ibrahim bin Khalifa Mattar, Francesca Cartier, Muqbel bin Salman Al-Thukair and Omar bin Yousif Al-Thukair (grandson of Al Ibrahim family). 

The CEO of DANAT, Mrs. Noora Jamsheer, said the visit of Mrs. Cartier Brickell to Bahrain had raised the profile of Bahrain’s pearl trade and its continued efforts in reviving the natural pearl sector.

“The visit helped us to recall and reflect upon Bahrain’s rich history concerning pearl diving and trade through linking the present with the past. The Cartier family have played an important role in converging artisanship with gemstone procurement, resulting in the finest jewellery in the world.” Mrs Jamsheer said.

For her part, Mrs. Layal Bushehri, head of marketing and communications at DANAT, stressed DANAT’s continued desire to undertake further international friendship building initiatives as part of its mission to revive the pearl sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain – and enhance the sector’s contribution to the national economy.