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A Story of Wheat

Echoing the pieces created by Chaumet for Empresses Joséphine and Marie-Louise, these ears of wheat bend in the breeze and imbue the diamond sets with precious generosity. A gift of the gods to mortals, wheat symbolises life, the earth’s bounty and the golden days of harvest. The goddess Ceres’ sumptuous gold grain provides both physical and spiritual nourishment as it represents maternal love.

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WHEAT SHEAF TIARA
CHAUMET – NITOT, CIRCA 1811

GOLD, SILVER AND DIAMONDS
CHAUMET PARIS COLLECTION

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Joséphine’s choice

This sheaf of nine stalks of wheat seems to rustle in the wind in an expression of modernity of the French Empire. Empress Joséphine brought the neo-classical tiara back into fashion – emblem of power and sovereignty – prompting a resurgence of the use in jewellery of classical motifs such the sheaf of wheat, a symbol of fertility.

In 1811, Empress Marie-Louise commissioned Nitot to create 150 stalks of wheat to adorn her gown and hair, which would form part of the Crown Jewels. A number of these were
used to produce this tiara. Chaumet made use of the wheat motif on the ethereal tiaras of the Belle Époque and on brooches in the post-war period.

Blés of yesterday

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From left to right:

Pair of wheat and reed brooches, wearable as a tiara, 1909

Empress Joséphine wearing an wheat sheaf tiara, miniature by J.-B.-J. (c) Fondation Napoléon / Patrice Maurin Berthier

Drawing of a wheat and poppy necklace (detail), circa 1890

Wheat sheaf tiara, circa 1900

Drawing of a wheat tiara, circa 1915

Wheat clip on earrings and earrings in rubies and diamonds, 1970

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Blés of today

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From left to right:

Offrandes d’été tiara in white gold, set with a pear-shaped diamond, Chaumet 2016

Young woman wearing the “Offrandes d’été” necklace and earrings in white gold and diamonds, Chaumet 2016

“Moissons sous le vent” ring in yellow gold and diamonds, Chaumet 2016

“Champs de lumière” ring in white gold and diamonds, set with a cushion-cut Padparadscha sapphire, Chaumet 2016

Offrandes d’été ring in white gold, set with a pear-shaped diamond, Chaumet 2016

Épi de Blé brooch in limited-edition, in yellow gold set with diamonds, Chaumet 2015

La Nature de Chaumet

The reinvention of a symbolic garden. Slender stems carrying flowers, ethereal leaves curled around fruit, wild grasses harbouring insects, golden harvests in summer splendour… such is the essence of Chaumet’s nature.

Mastering its expertise to create enchantment, Chaumet has invented precious jewels that tell the fabulous story of Parisian High Jewellery, born in 1780, with the lightness of hand and deceptive simplicity that defines its style.

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