History Milestones

Parisian jeweller on Place Vendôme, Chaumet has been creating tiaras, high jewellery pieces and unique timepieces since 1780.

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date-1780

The birth of a legend

For five centuries, Paris has been renowned for the quality and creativity of its jewellery artisans.
It was in this tradition in the late 18th century that Chaumet's founder, Marie-Etienne Nitot, made his mark.

Napoleon's marriage to Joséphine, then to Marie-Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine, Queen Marie-Antoinette's great-niece, meant some sumptuous commissions for Chaumet.
Nitot became the most sought-after jeweller in Europe and established a loyal and prestigious clientele.

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Portrait of Nitot by Louis-Léopold Boilly, Empire period.

Private collection.

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1780

Wheat sheaf tiara | Chaumet - Nitot circa 1811.
Gold, silver and diamonds - Chaumet Paris collection

The First French Empire, women's passion

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Portrait of Bonaparte wearing his consular sword made by Nitot, by Antoine-Jean Gros, 1802.

Musée national de la Légion d'Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie, Paris.

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Empress Josephine wearing an ears of wheat tiara, miniature by Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin.

© Fondation Napoléon / Patrice Maurin Berthier.

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Empress Josephine's intaglio jewellery in gold, nicolo agate and natural pearls.

Chaumet - Nitot, 1809.

Napoleon's taste for jewellery was political. He wanted to make France the centre for luxury and fashion design, as it was before the French Revolution. Nitot became his official jeweller.

A creative and innovative man, Nitot passed on that same attention to quality and originality to his successors.

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First Chaumet wristwatch

Pair of wristwatches belonging to Princess Augusta of Bavaria, daughter-in-law of Empress Josephine.
Gold, emeralds and pearls
Chaumet - Nitot circa 1811
Breguet movements / Private collection

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date-1850

1850

Pansy tiara I Chaumet - Fossin, circa 1850.
Gold, silver and diamonds - Private collection

The Romanticism or the triumph of nature

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Portrait of Princess Bagration, a loyal customer of Fossin & Fils, by François Gérard, 1828.

Private collection.

Following the fall of the Empire, Nitot's successors dedicated themselves to romantic jewellery inspired by the decorative arts of the Italian Renaissance and of the French 17th-century.

In 1853, Paris resumed its glamorous life and revived its international reputation as the capital of luxury and fashion. This atmosphere was particularly conducive to designing jewels to be worn during the day or in the evening with sumptuous ball gowns.

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Designs for a naturalist comb.

Chaumet-Fossin, circa 1830.

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Gold and turquoises necklace and earrings, the original box, invoice and drawings.

Fossin & Fils, 1828. Private Collection.

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Set featuring Greek fret, palmette and vine motifs
Chaumet -Fossin, circa 1825
Gold and turquoises
Chaumet Paris collection
1900

1880

"Bourbon-Parme" platinum and diamond fuchsia tiara, supplied to
the Duke of Doudeauville on the occasion of his daughter Hedwige's
marriage to Prince Sixte of Bourbon-Parme.
Joseph Chaumet, 1919

The Belle Époque, a delicate audacity

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Joseph Chaumet chose the Baudard de Saint James mansion to relocate the Maison to Place Vendôme in 1907.

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Princess Yusupov, born Grand Duchess Irina of Russia, wearing the articulated sun tiara made by Chaumet in 1914.

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Large morning glory brooch, 1885.

With rather exceptional creativity and inspired by the re-enchantment of nature, Joseph Chaumet came to be recognised as an undisputed master of the Belle Epoque and gave his name to the Maison.

Aigrettes and tiaras, as social symbols and fashion accessories, are a speciality of Chaumet.

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Choker necklace convertible into a headband, with crossed ribbon motif. Gold, silver, sapphires and diamonds. Joseph Chaumet, circa 1907.

1910

1910

Peacock feather brooch wearable in the hair, with a Ceylon sapphire set "en trembleuse",
Joseph Chaumet. Private collection.

The time of the Maharajas

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Yashwant Rao Holkar, Maharaja of Indore, and his first wife Sanyogita.

With steamboats allowing for faster travel in the early 20th century, the Indian princes developed a taste for European pleasures. As avid jewellery collectors, they would bring their stones to Place Vendôme to have them set into light, flexible platinum settings.

The finest stones were often reserved for men, as was the case with the pair of pear diamonds that Chaumet supplied to the Maharaja of Indore in 1911.

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Necklace made for the Maharajah of Indore, set with two 47-carat pear diamonds.

Joseph Chaumet, 1913.

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Seed pearl bayadère finished with two tassels, inspired by the jewellery worn by Hindu dancers.

Joseph Chaumet, circa 1920.

1920

1920

Onyx and diamond tiara, Joseph Chaumet, 1920.

Art Deco, the era of novelty

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Drawing of two large Art Deco necklaces.

Joseph Chaumet, circa 1920.

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Sempan brooch. Platinum, imperial jade, rubies, diamonds and onyx.

Joseph Chaumet, circa 1925.

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"Régence" watch with frosted rock crystal, emeralds, diamonds and enamel, worn on the lapel.

Joseph Chaumet, 1924.

Jewellery styles became more geometric in line with the boyish look of the 1920s that would become more feminine in the 1930s.

This style gave rise to art deco, culminating in the Exposition des Arts décoratifs in Paris in 1925 and characterised by strong contrasts in colours and materials, the use of semi-precious stones, black and white, as well as exotic inspirations.

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Dolphin brooch with frosted rock crystal, platinum, enamel and diamonds.

Joseph Chaumet, 1926.

1930

1780

Platinum and diamond tiara commissioned by the Earl of Bessborough for his wife on the occasion of his appointment as Governor General of Canada.
Marcel Chaumet, 1931. Mary, Countess of Bessborough.

From tradition to modernity

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Ann Gunning Parker wearing Chaumet jewellery, photographed by Henry Clarke, 1953.

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Stylised wing brooch with platinum and diamonds, Pierre Sterlé for Chaumet, 1968. Private collection.

In the wake of the 1930s, Chaumet continued its style while giving it a certain modernity that echoed fine Parisian taste, ever in search of novelty and the avant-garde...

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Foliage clip, 1950.

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Design for a brooch, circa 1930.

1970

1970

"Aigrette impériale" Joséphine tiara in platinum and white gold and studded with brilliant-cut diamonds, set with a pear diamond of around 3 carats. 2015

The art of style

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Anneau rings in white gold and yellow gold, 1990.

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Flower clip with carved coral, gold and diamonds.
Pierre Sterlé for Chaumet, circa 1975.

Gold jewellery, sometimes set with hardstone, bronze or mother-of-pearl, was now on offer in a new boutique concept.

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Watch composed of gold links
Baume & Mercier movement, Chaumet, 1970.

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Ginkgo necklace with bronze, gold and diamonds, Pierre Sterlé and Béatrice de Plinval for Chaumet, 1977.

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12, place Vendôme, the heart and soul of the Maison Chaumet

The Chaumet workshop at 12, Place Vendôme is a testament to this expertise in high jewellery that has been continuously passed on from one workshop manager to the next since 1780.

CONTACT US

Our Distance Selling Service is available Monday to Friday, from 10.30am to 7.00pm (Paris time), please call this number :

+33 (0)1 56 88 50 20

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