As part of Les Journées Particulières - LVMH - on October 15 and 16, 2011, Chaumet unveils to the public its historic salons 12, place Vendôme, and presents the unique High-Jewellery heritage and know-how of the House perpetuated for 230 years.
In the heart of the Chaumet House
Since 1907 the Baudard de Saint-James mansion has been home to the Maison Chaumet.
Echoing the 17th-century façade designed by Mansart for Louis XIV, are the historic Chaumet salons on the second floor, including the Grand Salon, a masterpiece of late 18th-century architecture.
• The Grand Salon
is the oldest salon on Place Vendôme and classified as a historic monument. It was designed in 1777 by the architect François-Joseph Bélanger for Claude Baudard de Vaudrier,Lord of Saint-James, the General Treasurer of the Navy under Louis XV and Louis XVI. The Corinthian columns seem to go on as far as the eye can see, thanks to a play of mirrors, and evoke Mansart’s façade. The decorations, such as the compass rose on the floor and the sea trophies on the cornices, reflect the original owner’s nautical duties. The medallions on the ceiling were painted by Lagrenée the Younger, while the wood paneling is the work of the Rousseau brothers.
It was here that Frédéric Chopin composed his last work, the Mazurka opus 68, no. 4, which was never completed. He died two months later, on October 17, 1849.
• The Salon des Diadèmes
displays the firm’s historic collections, including a unique array of tiaras in nickel silver (a copper alloy with nickel and zinc) which were delicately painted before testing for size and final production in the workshop.
Among the historic Chaumet pieces on display are the diamond and ruby parure made for Empress Marie-Louise, the Empire’s “Spike of Wheat” tiara and the Belle Epoque Bourbon-Parma tiara. All of which bear witness to the level of excellence and savoir-faire in the field of luxury jewelry handed down from one workshop master to the next without interruption since 1780. A selection from some of the 500,000 drawings in the Chaumet archives – a unique resource in the history of jewelry – will be on display in the cases of the Cabinet des Dessins, next to the Grand Salon. In particular, the archives contain drawings of the creations René Lalique made for the jewelry house during the Belle Epoque. This salon was revamped by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte when the interior of the 12 Place Vendôme store was renovated.
• The Salon des Perles
dates back to 1855 and is currently undergoing restoration. This salon was originally the mansion’s dining room. Richly decorated in carved wood, it features a spectacular fireplace and a painted ceiling attributed to Pierre-Victor Galland. Its name evokes the Belle Epoque when Chaumet’s pearl department was opened.