Maison Chaumet: the secrets of 12 Place Vendôme

The oldest jeweler at the Place Vendôme, Paris, never ceases to amaze with his ability to anchor himself in the air of the times. Intimately linked with history, Chaumet’s great hours still nourish the creativity of the Maison and constitute an unbroken thread between past, present and future. This Saturday, Chaumet will reopen its storied doors at 12 Place Vendôme in Paris a year after it closed for major renovation. 

As jewelry houses branch out into new markets across Asia and South America, Chaumet’s recently renovated Paris flagship reminds the world of Place Vendôme’s eternal splendor. The Maison was the first to open on this famed jewelry square in 1812, at which point it had already achieved notoriety as a jeweler for the court of Napoléon Bonaparte; his wife Joséphine was the company’s first major client.

Since 1907 French Maison Chaumet has proudly occupied the same hôtel particulier (12 Place Vendôme) as it does today, but for the Maison’s 240th anniversary this year, the space was entirely reconceived to pay proper tribute to its illustrious heritage and cater to the 2020 consumer.

Overseen by Patricia Grosdemange, LVMH artistic director and designer, Chaumet’s revamped flagship comprises a boutique, atelier, event space, and myriad museum-esque salons, including a registered historical landmark that, for such reasons, remained untouched. Beginning with the ground floor, which displays the brand’s Joséphine, Liens, and Jardins collections, every pocket of the hôtel particulier offers a surprising take on elements of the Maison’s history.

“There are many small stories hidden in the details,” Grosdemange tells Yakymour. A standout is the undulating plaster staircase whose panels are engraved with excerpts of passionate letters between Napoléon and Joséphine. In its design, the flagship also juxtaposes the empress’s love of jewels with her interest in botany. For instance, Grosdemange employed natural materials like straw to bring a sense of modernity to the interiors and to provide a counterpoint to the glittering diamonds and precious stones.

“I prefer to work with artists and craftsmen to create textures and interesting materials rather than complicated shapes, which are not timeless”, explains Grosdemange about the decision to keep display cases and furniture relatively streamlined in favor of using surfaces as places for experimentation. “The right material can provide vibrations and emotions throughout the space”.

With her launching point being a circa-1810 tiara resembling ears of wheat – Chaumet’s emblem – blowing in the wind, Grosdemange incorporated the motif in Maison Lesage embroidery on upholstered walls, engravings on walnut paneling, gildings on stone, and sculptural supports for jewelry vitrines. “I was fascinated by the modernity and timelessness of this beautiful creation”, she says. “For me it really represents Chaumet because it’s very strong and classical, but at the same time there’s movement coming through. There’s poésie”.

Nature-driven statements continue upstairs in the Salon des Joyaux, where customers can view Chaumet’s high-jewelry collections surrounded by straw-marquetry walls specially crafted by the Jallu Straw workshop to resemble rays of sun. Grosdemange’s love of texture also comes through in the space’s art. In the Salon Malmaison, an elegant, white room designated for brides to be, Cecilie Bendixen’s circular kinetic work, Moon Disc–Rays from East, serves as a focal point, its strings evoking a wedding dress.

One of the most striking and intimate spaces, the Salon des Perles, features another impressive textile piece—a carpet whose tiara- and nature-inspired pattern was painted directly in the space by artist Alain Billon. Originally serving as the hôtel particulier’s dining room, this salon later because the room in which Chaumet artisans worked with pearls. After finding it in a state of disrepair, Grosdemange decided to return it to its former glory as a small events space.

Here, guests can dine amid gold and deep-blue walls conjuring baroque mysteriousness and romance, all further enhanced by the pastoral ceiling scene painted by 19th-century artist Pierre-Victor Galland. For those seeking a full time-capsule experience, the landmarked Salon Chopin can be found within the flagship’s own walls. Designed in 1779 for the building’s original owner, this architectural jewel is also where the pianist composed his final mazurka.

Among the additional new or reworked spaces are the Cabinet des Portraits (a showcase of Chaumet’s major clients throughout its history), the Salon des Dessins (an exhibition space dedicated to the maison’s archives), the Salon Arcade (where Chaumet’s more contemporary-style jewels are on offer), and a high-jewelry atelier (where setters, polishers, and apprentices can be seen at work).

The building’s original dining room has been reimagined for the 21st century in midnight blue and gold tones. Its Napoléon III-style panelling creates a harmonious contrast with a bucolic ceiling scene painted in the 19th century by Pierre-Victor Galland, nephew of Jean-Baptiste Fossin, the then head of the maison’s workshop.

Of course, Chaumet could not do justice to its history without a room dedicated to what it does best: On display in the revamped Salon des Diadèmes are hundreds of nickel-silver preparatory tiaras—including those made for grandes dames such as Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. As tradition has it during the tiara-making process, Joseph Chaumet would first present clients with three-dimensional models made of an alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, which would then be hand-painted to reflect the color of the chosen gems.

In honor of the reopening, the workshop gives birth to a limited edition of cosmopolitan rings. Wearing oval centre stones, pink and green tourmalines or blue-purple tanzanites, the models evoke a pagoda. When adorned with a falcon’s eye or a turquoise sugar loaf cut, the rings celebrate Paris, a secret model inspired by the Grand Palais with a glass roof of diamonds and pink sapphires topped with two emerald cabochons. The vibrant colours of the Middle East are translated into a dome carved in lapis lazuli or malachite, while black jade and onyx pay homage to Japan. A collection, ‘Treasures of Elsewhere’, presented exclusively at 12 Place Vendôme.

The Shéhérazade ring in lapis lazuli, sapphires, yellow gold and lacquer is one of 16 unique high jewellery rings in the Trésors d’Ailleurs collection created by Chaumet to mark the reopening of its Place Vendôme boutique.

Chaumet’s Trésors d’Ailleurs Qianlong ring in yellow gold and lacquer is inspired by Chinese imperial architecture and is set with brilliant-cut diamonds an oval-cut blue tanzanite.

Chaumet’s Trésors d’Ailleurs Qianlong ring in rose gold and lacquer is inspired by Chinese imperial architecture and is set with brilliant-cut diamonds an oval-cut pink tourmaline.

Chaumet’s Trésors d’Ailleurs Qianlong ring in yellow gold and lacquer is inspired by Chinese imperial architecture and is set with brilliant-cut diamonds an oval-cut green tourmaline.

The Oriane ring from Chaumet’s Trésors d’Ailleurs collection captures the spirit of Belle Époque Paris in diamonds, emeralds, rock crystal and yellow gold.

While Chaumet’s 12 Place Vendôme flagship is temporarily closed in correspondence with government-imposed lockdowns due to COVID-19, there is no doubt that even those who simply view the awe-inspiring space in the photographs will feel transported to another era filled with great love stories, gold-laden interiors, and diadems for days. Come into the beautiful world of Chaumet.

Maison Chaumet Celebrates Love In Paris

Paris, the city of love. With effortless elegance, French Maison Chaumet honours two love-dazed newlyweds frolicking around Paris, as the bride shows off new diamond jewellery with the greatest of grace and a touch of French insouciance.

Chaumet has been inextricable to the royal family for more than two centuries, and is known as the ‘Blue Bloods’ of the French temple-class jewelry and luxury watch brand.

It all started with the passionate love Napoléon had for Joséphine and today, Chaumet brings love up to date, French style, with the new video, ‘L’Amour à Paris’ (Love In Paris). The story goes like this: tousled hair and an exquisite vintage tiara, a black leather biker jacket draped over a skimpy couture wedding dress, an heirloom-worthy diamond engagement ring, antique lace and killer heels. These are some of the carefree moments captured in Chaumet’s latest video and a series of de photographs by director Matthew Brookes, who deftly introduces the Maison’s new bridal jewellery.

Incredibly romantic and impossibly chic, Chaumet’s new bridal video brings love up to date, French style. Our young bride trots, twirls and skips around Paris in some spectacular jewels, trailed by her smitten groom and a flowing lace veil. During an impromptu little shimmy in the Tuileries gardens we catch a glimpse of her Joséphine Aube Printanière diamond earrings, simple white gold pendant and impressive Josephine Aigrette Imperiale diamond engagement ring. At twilight with wind-blown hair, she cradles next to her lover, the 70 diamonds in the Splendour necklace and earrings shining as bright as the Eiffel Tower against the evening sky.

With an unfailing dedication to creativity, Chaumet proves again that its love for jewellery is indeed everlasting.

In an open-top classic Citroën DS skimming over the cobblestones of Rue de la Paix, we catch sight of the impossibly pretty Joséphine Aigrette Imperiale diamond tiara sparkling in her hair. Monsieur is at the wheel wearing a dashing pink gold Dandy watch. Whisked up to Chaumet’s salon overlooking the Place Vendôme, he tenderly places the diamond ‘Perles de Vénus’ tiara on her head, crowning her with the history of Chaumet’s heritage, which she wears so very lightly, happily ever after.

Chaumet’s Joséphine Aigrette Imperiale diamond engagement ring in platinum and white gold with a 3.33ct pear-shape diamond, surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds, is shaped like a tiara, ready to be the crowning glory on your finger.

Chaumet’s Joséphine Aigrette Imperiale diamond ring is available in many different sizes

Chaumet Joséphine Aigrette Imperiale diamond tiara continues the Chaumet tradition of creating bridal tiaras. 

Famed for its tiara-making skills over the centuries, queens, princesses and movie stars have turned to Chaumet to create the ideal bijoux de tête. Chaumet’s jewels echo the sumptuousness of historic commissions, such as the jewels made for Empress Joséphine’s marriage to Napoléon.  This platinum tiara can be worn on the head in several different ways thanks to its lightness and simple design. At the centre, crowning the head, is a 3.35 carat pear-shaped diamond. 

Chaumet Joséphine Aube Printanière diamond pendant with a 2.39 carat pear-shaped diamond set in white gold.

The valuable 2.39 carat pear-shaped diamond in this white gold necklace makes this a statement gift for a bride to wear on her wedding day. Thanks to the simplicity of the design, it is versatile enough to be worn everyday, making it the perfect love token to wear close to the heart. 

Chaumet Joséphine Aube Printanière diamond earrings in white gold with pear-shaped diamond drops. 

These Chaumet Joséphine Aube Printanière diamond earrings in white gold will never go out of style. The clean design, impeccable craftsmanship and high quality of the diamonds mean these will be treasured for decades and add sparkle to many days of her life. The pear-shaped diamond drops add a note of classic Chaumet elegance, setting them apart from the crowd. 

The Chaumet Splendour diamond necklace has 70 brilliant-cut diamonds set into platinum in a highly flexible construction.

Ideal for brides, Chaumet’s Splendour necklace, shimmering with 70 brilliant-cut and pear-shaped diamonds, will dazzle long after the wedding ceremony. Set in platinum, the diamonds sit on the neck in a cascade of light that moves with the body thanks to its highly flexible construction. Each spray that fans out from the central circle is tipped in a pear-shaped diamond, and even the back of the necklace is adorned with diamond drops. 

These Chaumet Splendour diamond earrings match the necklace and feature brilliant and pear-shaped diamonds. 

Matching Chaumet’s Splendour necklace, these platinum earrings feature four impressive pear-shape diamonds and four brilliant cuts. Simple enough to wear on your wedding day without detracting from your tiara or necklace, these earrings are a perfect first addition to the new bride’s jewellery case. The fine metalwork allows the diamonds to shine out, free from any visible settings. 

With an unfailing dedication to creativity, Chaumet proves again that its love for jewellery is indeed everlasting. To help more brides find the perfect Chaumet engagement ring and jewels, as of 24 September there will be a special bridal area dedicated to love at the French Maison’ flagship Place Vendôme boutique. From commissioning a tiara to finding a wedding band, Chaumet’s intimate and luxurious Nouvel Espace Bridal is an experience in its own right.

And if that’s not enough, let Chaumet organise an escapade to some of Paris’ most romantic secret spots. More about Chaumet’s Nouvel Espace Bridal, soon here on Yakymour. Come into the beautiful world of Chaumet.

Chaumet: Colours of spring



Napoleon Bonaparte survived many wars, but he succumbed to Empress Josephine’s charms. And while the Empress had one of the world’s most powerful men wrapped around her little finger, she was not immune to the bewitching dazzle of gemstones – Chaumet’s gemstones, to be exact. Once official jeweller to the empress, the brand continues to take her as its regal muse today. The Maison’s ties to its history have always remaimed strong – its flagship boutique, studio and workshop still occupy the same 18th-century townhouse in Place Vendôme, where it has been since its founding in 1780.

A direct nod to the Maison’s royal connection is the Josephine collection. Name aside, its chosen motif, the tiara, appears miniaturised and set with gems, reimagined as rings, bracelets and pendants. Chaumet’s signature pear cut features strongly in the centrstone that tops each miniature tiara like a crowning geHPChaumet_3-1024x683.jpg.pagespeed.ce.fRrkPOfroeHPChaumet_1-1024x683.jpg.pagespeed.ce.mQfrZZkriD


Parisian ‘Haute Joaillier’ Maison Chaumet’s Josephine collection has taken the world by storm, and no wonder: it’s elegant, it’s modern, and its different styles feature either a diamond – as a stunning engagement ring – or a beautiful colored gemstone for a more day-to-day piece that transitions beautifully into the evening. The ‘Aigrette Imperiale’ design, inspired by the crown, has a wings-like silhouette, ‘Eclat Floral’ has a tulip shape that that exalts the central gem.

Come into the world of Chaumet.





Marriage contract signed by France’s Napoleon and Josephine up for sale


A marriage contract that the Emperor Napoleon and his wife Josephine signed as witnesses goes on sale next month for €21,000. The document records the marriage of General August Hulin and Marie Jeanne-Louise Tiersonnier, and was one of the first signed by Napoleon after being proclaimed emperor of France in 1804.

I am thrilled to share the evocative nature of this historical document on Valentine’s Day. It is assuredly the finest marriage contract signed by Emperor Napoleon and his Empress Josephine available in the world. Napoleon and Josephin’s own marriage contract is preserved in National Archives of France.

David Lowenherz, founder & owner of Lion Heart Autographs in New York

New York based Lion Heart Autographs has announced an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the finest marriage document ever. This rare Valentine’s Day opportunity celebrates history’s most romantic and often controversial couple – Napoleon & Josephine. The evocative marriage contract is not only signed by the historic couple, but by other French notables, including six of Napoleon’s original eighteen marshals (the highest military rank during the Empire). The Valentine’s Day presentation of such a unique, historical document marks the first time Lion Heart Autographs has offered it for sale; it is one of only a handful known to exist in private hands.



Other highlights to be featured by Lion Heart Autographs at The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show include a letter by Albert Einstein on how intellectuals and the working class should work together; doodles by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on White House stationery; a decorative proclamation signed by President Harry Truman declaring the end of WWII; an impressive document signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State about U.S. fishing rights; a very fine art related letter by Henri Matisse; an unpublished handwritten letter by Charles Darwin sending his photograph to a former shipmate aboard the ‘Beagle’; a charming letter by Mark Twain in which he offers his autograph to a young collector, and much more.

Lion Heart Autographs will display the document at The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show at the Palm Beach County Convention Center from February 10-16, 2016. Come into the beautiful world of Lion Heart Autographs.