One of the most storied high jewelry houses in Paris, Chaumet has been entwined with the history of France since its founding in 1780. Appointed official jeweler to Empress Joséphine, the house has passed down its unique savoir-faire for almost 240 years. Each generation of Chaumet jewelers has looked to the natural world as a key source of inspiration, dreaming up ruby orchids, delicate laurel wreath tiaras, striking diamond starbursts, and a beguiling array of animals—from birds and butterflies to snakes and octopuses—on necklaces, brooches, and headpieces.
Drawings were used not only to research and develop ideas, revealing little-known aspects of the creative process of jewelry design, but also to present fully conceptualized bespoke pieces to clients, tempting them to place an order. These beautiful and inventive drawings—many of which are published here for the first time—are presented in thematic chapters (“Flowers,” “Trees and Plants,” “Bestiary,” and “Universe”), while essays by curator Gaëlle Rio offer a concise art-historical perspective.
A visually fascinating compendium, Chaumet: Drawing from Nature will delight all lovers of jewelry, art, and nature.
Gaëlle Rio is Director of the Musée de la Vie Romantique in Paris. She specializes in nineteenth-century art and in her previous position at the Petit Palais curated a number of exhibitions, including “Jewelry from the Petit Palais”; “The Art of Pastel, from Degas to Redon”; and “Paris 1900.”
Marc Jeanson is former director of the National Herbarium at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He is currently the Botanical Director of the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco.