The old Forbidden City is hosting an impressive display of the famous French jewelers skills with a new exhibition.
French ‘Haute Joaillier’ Maison Chaumet has consistently produced beautiful designs that have enthralled us since the 18th century. While many would love to leave the past behind them, sometimes it pays to look back once in a while to see just how far you have come. Rich in history and traditions, the brand has delved back into its archives to produce a spellbinding exhibition called ‘Imperial Splendours’ in the Palace Museum, Beijing.
A delightful Hummingbird Aigrette in gold, silver, diamonds and rubies with Hummingbird feathers created by Joseph Chaumet circa 1880. Even today still very modern. (Collection Chaumet, Paris).
An enchanting aigrette made by Joseph Chaumet circa 1910, from gold, silver, diamonds and natural Pearls. (Collection Chaumets, Paris).
The exhibition, curated by Henri Loyrette who is the director of Musee de Louvre, will show over 300 beautiful and rare pieces from the Maisons treasured archive. From jewels, watches, objects d’art, paintings and drawings, it is a chance for visitors to see what the brand has been producing since it was founded in 1780. With the support of prominent museums and prestigious collections, we see Chaumet’s artistry at its finest.
One of the highlights of the collection is the Bourbon-Parma tiara (pictured on top) that was crafted in 1919. Made of platinum and diamonds for Countess Hedwige de La Rochfoucauld upon her marrige to the Price Sixte of Bourbon-Parma. In the show of cultural appreciation, the Palace Musum has also selected several items from its own collection to be offered as an exchange between the Chinese and French jewellery arts.
A vanity case by Joseph Chaumet, circa 1925, in gold, platinum, nephrite, lapiz lazuli and diamonds reflecting the taste for exotic chinoiserie products. (Collection Chaumet, Paris).
Designed by Robert Lemoine, this necklace in gold, frosted rock crystal, jasper and diamonds features ann octopus gripping seaweed garland and a rubellite stone. Collection of Her Royal Highness Princess Bourbon des Deux Siciles.
You can catch the ‘Imperial Splendors’ exhibition at the Wu men Room, Meridian Gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing from April 11 to July 2. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sonday (closed on Monday), from 8.30am to 5pm.