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muse of the Maison


Modern and free, Empress Joséphine has inspired Chaumet’s graceful, characterful creations for over two centuries. As the Maison’s first major client, this strong-willed woman who, through love, became a sovereign, invented a style that married elegance and lightness. It is an aesthetic that infuses the collections today.

The Joséphine collections

A woman of court, Joséphine brought the tiara back into fashion, an exceptional piece that became the Maison’s signature from then on.
A stylish woman, the empress reinvented the codes of her time, remaining true to her instincts.
A woman of the heart, her love story with Napoléon inspired the Maison to make the sentimental jewellery for which it is still renowned to this day, that celebrates life’s unforgettable moments.


High Jewellery


It all started with the love story between Napoléon and Joséphine. This timelessly modern couple, a strong-willed woman and a powerful man, made the Maison a privileged witness to their love. In tribute to this passion, Crown Your Love, the solitaire according to Chaumet, crowns the finger like Napoléon crowned Joséphine.


Joséphine, soul of the Maison

An exile of Martinique on the continent, separated from her first husband, prisoner during the Revolution, widow, loving mother, mistress of the first consul, Empress of France, divorced… Joséphine is a figure of pure romance. As an ambassador of imperial France, she reinvented fashion and imposed her own style, a modern embodiment of the splendour of new power. To perfect her sovereign’s appearance, she revived the tiara, the emblem of power and symbol of radiant femininity. Enamoured with a sense of freedom that married nature with happiness, she freed herself of conventions and corsets alike, draping herself in airy voiles, floaty tulles and diaphanous chiffons.

The Empress that won hearts, Joséphine inspired in Napoléon a passion like no other, immortalised by the many pieces of sentimental jewellery created by Maison Chaumet. This avant-garde figure invented a modern couple in a changing era, shaping her own idea of the art of family living. With Napoléon, her children Eugène and Hortense were reunited with a father’s love and formed a new family circle.


The Maison’s creations for Joséphine

Milan, 1805. As the Emperor and Empress prepared to be crowned King and Queen of Italy, the path of the Maison, which was not yet called Chaumet, crossed with that of Joséphine. Tasked with gifting the Pope an opulent papal tiara commissioned by Napoléon, François-Regnault Nitot, son of the Maison’s founder, made a stop in Milan en route to the Vatican to present this exceptional creation to the imperial couple. Joséphine marvelled at the splendid gift, while Napoléon offered his congratulations. In that moment, Nitot’s destiny changed dramatically. He was appointed Joséphine’s favoured jeweller.

From then on, jewellery commissioned from the Maison would light up Joséphine’s silhouette. As the muse of a new regime of conspicuous splendour, she adorned herself with gold, pearls and precious stones. Her tiaras and sets of jewellery incorporated the symbols Napoléon borrowed from Antiquity, such as laurel and oak leaves. A bouquet of ears of wheat waving in the wind, mounted on a tiara, perfected her look at her first official ceremony.

In private, Joséphine chose the day-to-day sets of jewellery of a lady of the court. Her acrostic bracelets, sentimental pieces created by Nitot at the Emperor’s request, featured coloured stones in letters of the alphabet to spell out the names of Eugène and Hortense, as a tribute to her tenderness as a mother. This tradition of sentimental jewellery is a constant inspiration for Chaumet.