The Trésors d'Afrique exhibition presents the third and final destination for the collection The Worlds of Chaumet.
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.