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A story of Hortensias

A story that begins with the considerable orders of the empresses Joséphine and Marie-Louise and afterwards the queen Hortense, who wore hortensias as corsage brooches, bouquets or garlands separable into brooches. Important though personal jewels, reserved for the private and social sphere, reflecting the feminity and the poetry of this pattern, only recently admired in the botanical gardens.

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DRAWING OF A HORTENSIA BROOCH

JOSEPH CHAUMET CIRCA. 1900
CHAUMET PARIS COLLECTION

The empress Joséphine, who made her Malmaison park the project of her life, as well as the reflection of her tastes and images of her childhood in Martinique, introduced there numerous rare and exotic variety. The hortensias are a part of her precious botanical collections, like Redouté’s boards demonstrate.

Thus Nitot et Fils create for her in 1807 a wide diamonds set includind a delicate Hortensia garland which gathers nearly 300 carats.

Hortensias of yesterday and today

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From left to right:

Hortensias bouquet brooch of the queen Hortense in gold, diamonds and rubies, Nitot & Fils, Abbaye territoriale d’Einsiedeln, 1816.

Drawing of a hortensias brooch in diamonds, Joseph Chaumet, circa 1900.

Hortensia “Astres d’Or” pendant and rings in white gold, Chaumet 2014.

Hortensia “Voie Lactée” ring in white gold, diamonds, white calcedony and sapphires, Chaumet 2016.