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Watches & Jewellery

5 Things This Chaumet Book Taught Us About French Jewellery

You’d probably know Chaumet as the French jewellery house famous for its tiaras. You might also know it for its obsession with the bee motifs and hydrangeas.

A newly released box set by Assouline charts the legacy of the brand in three volumes. Priced at US$75 (S$101) at www.assouline.com, the set sheds light on the themes that Chaumet is famed for – its provenance in Place Vendome, its trademark tiara designs and inspirations with nature – in an easy to read format.

Penned by a Le Figaro journalist, a jewellery historian and a Vanity Fair contributor/publishing house founder, the books are a great read for any jewellery fiend. Here, we uncover some of the interesting trivia from the collection.

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#1: The first jeweller to move to the Place Vendome – the famed jewellery square in Paris – was Francois-Regnault Nitot, the son of the founder of Chaumet. He set up his business at No. 15 in the Hotel de Gramont.
#2: Chaumet was regarded an avant-gardist among jewellers of the 19th century. Some of its designs were a century ahead of their time.
#3: The French empress, Josephine, was patron and muse to the brand. One of her favourites was this tiara with the wheat sheath motif.
#4: Longtime Vanity Fair editor Punch Hutton made the tiara a cool accessory when she was spotted wearing a 1910 piece at Cannes.
#5: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wore the same cameo and pearl tiara that Chaumet made for Josephine during her 2010 nuptials.
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