The House of Chaumet

The House of Chaumet has always been considered a symbol of French high jewelry. Founded in 1780 by Marie-Étienne Nitot, the House became famous during the French Empire. Nitot created jewelry for Napoleon’s wedding to Joséphine, designed his coronation crown and decorated his sword. Throughout the XIX century, Chaumet attracted the most prestigious, rich and elegant clientele such as Queen Victoria and the Russian Imperial family. During the Art Deco period the House created some of its iconic tiaras, and the flagship store on Place Vendôme became a magnet for many fashionable women of the time. Today, the House of Chaumet, now associated with the LVMH group, is widely known outside of France. Brides all over the world dream of the stunning Joséphine Aigrette ring.

In the summer of 2022, the exhibition «Végétal – L’École de la beauté» («Botanical-Observing Beauty») was held in Paris. It was organized by Chaumet in partnership with École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. It should be noted that the Chaumet museum, holding 200 items of jewelry, is not open to the public. This new exhibition was so interesting for Parisians and tourists alike because they finally got an opportunity to marvel at all of the archival pieces of the house.

From the very beginning, the House placed nature at the heart of its creations. This exhibition was a tribute to the plant kingdom and the infinity of its forms, structures, textures and colors. «Végétal» is a dialogue between paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs, all tied together with some 80 jewelry objects from Chaumet. The exhibition included several subsections: Forest, Foreshore, Reedbed, Stairs, Tillage, Hortus and Millefleur. In the halls, there were hung valuable works such as Arcimboldo’s «Spring» and Monet’s «Water Lilies» of the Orsay and Louvre museums, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, among others. Certainly, the exhibition’s gems were Chaumet’s jewelry, especially its legendary tiaras: “Bedford” tiara with wild roses and jasmine flowers (1830) and “Ears of Wheat” tiara (1811). These jewelry masterpieces are rightfully considered the pride of the House of Chaumet and its acquired heritage and historical status.

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