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The Maison’s muse

Empress Joséphine

Discover Joséphine

The Maison’s first great client, Empress Joséphine has inspired Chaumet’s creations for over two centuries, both in grace and character.

Fashion icon, woman of power and passionate lover, the mythical couple she forms with Napoléon will be the starting point of Chaumet’s legend.

Explore the Joséphine collection
Who are you, Joséphine?

Exiled on the continent from Martinique, separated from her first husband, made a prisoner during the French Revolution, a widow, a caring mother, the First Consul’s wife, then Empress of the French, divorcée… Joséphine is a romantic figure.

Ambassador of imperial France, she reinvented fashion and imposed her style. In order to refine her sovereign look, she brought back tiaras, emblems of power, as well as symbols of radiant femininity into fashion. Infatuated with a freedom that combines nature and happiness, she liberated herself from conventions and corsets, draping herself in airy veils, vaporous tulles and diaphanous muslins.

Empress of hearts, Joséphine has inspired Napoléon an unparalleled passion, immortalized by numerous sentimental jewels created by the Maison.
Pape tiare Chaumet
Créations luxe maison Chaumet
At the origins of the Chaumet legend
Milan, year 1805. As the Emperor and Empress prepare to be crowned King and Queen of Italy, the destiny of the Maison, not yet called Chaumet, crosses that of Joséphine.

Entrusted with presenting the Pope with a sumptuous tiara commissioned by Napoléon, François-Regnault Nitot, the Maison’s founder’s son, stopped off in Milan to present this exceptional creation to the imperial couple. Before this lavish present, Joséphine marvels while Napoleon congratulates the craftsman. Nitot's destiny had just changed. He was elected Joséphine's favourite jeweller.

Thenceforth, the ceremonial jewels commissioned from the Maison illuminated Joséphine's figure, such as the cameo of malachite or the intaglio ornaments.
The Empress' jewels

As the Empress of a new regime whose splendour had to be shown, Joséphine dressed in gold, pearls and precious stones. Her tiaras and ornaments evoke symbols borrowed by Napoléon from Antiquity: laurels, oak leaves… A bouquet of ears of wheat mounted as a tiara refines her appearance at her first official ceremony.

Empress Joséphine’s acrostic bracelets
In her privacy, Joséphine chooses her everyday jewels according to her heart’s desires. Her acrostic bracelets combine coloured stones with the alphabet to compose the names of her two children, Eugène and Hortense.

A tradition of sentimental jewels that never ceases to inspire Chaumet. Even today, every single creation of the Maison echoes the audacious and free spirit of this resolutely modern woman of yesterday.