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.
A precious evocation of its muse’s taste, the Joséphine collection transposes the tiara and aigrette into the repertoire of contemporary jewellery. Like the Empress who would reinvent her wardrobe daily, Joséphine Aigrette is an invitation to creativity. The joyful combinations, with gold and stones in an array of shades, expresses a unique personality. Combined and layered boldly, coloured stones, diamonds and pearls form a unique set of jewellery.
From tiara ring to wedding band, the Joséphine collection offers six styles of engagement ring. Central stones cut in cushion, brilliant or pear – the Maison’s signature – shine in majesty. Conjuring all of Chaumet’s virtuosity as a jeweller, from the art of design and the variety of settings to the mastery of the fil couteau, the secret to the light settings, these rings become the precious symbols of a commitment as intense as it is moving.
The Joséphine High Jewellery creations perpetuate the art of the appearance cultivated by the Empress, a powerful woman. Celebrating the brilliance of diamonds or glorifying the vibrant colours of the central stones, these gems visibly transform the presence of those who wear them.
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.
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.