French jewellery house, Chaumet, looks to the heavens for its most dazzling collection yet
Humans have looked to the sky since time immemorial. The sun and rain for life-giving sustenance; the planets and stars for navigational guidance; the soft and vibrant hues of dawn and dusk for artistic inspiration, writes Andrew Conway.
Now one of the world’s most storied jewellery houses has cast its eyes to the firmament as the muse for its most spectacular collection to date, a rare and ravishing vault of celestial beauty titled Les Ciels de Chaumet.
A masterwork of creative passion, observation, symbolism and poetry, Chaumet’s latest high-jewellery launch tells a four-part story of the multiple metamorphoses of the sky in a trove of tiaras, necklaces, pendant earrings, brooches, timepieces and rings, among other glittering adornments.
Inspired by the sun, stars, moon and planets
As well as an array of birds that inhabit the sky, Les Ciels de Chaumet comprises some of the world’s most precious and colourful gemstones, from Sri Lankan yellow sapphires to Australian black opals.
Each of the collection’s four stories evokes the ever-changing nuances of the sky in all its glory. Les Caprices du Ciel celebrates the fragility of clouds and the power of lightning; Les Couleurs du Ciel takes its cues from the sun; Les Fulgurances du Ciel is an ode to the night sky; while exotic birdlife is the theme for Les Habitants du Ciel.
Intricate subsets focusing on individual elements – stormy winds, radiant sunlight, the fiery palette of sunset and a parade of migratory and wading birds, among others – inspire the collection’s eye-catching jewels and designs.
No new release would be complete without the inclusion of a galaxy of stars, with the Étoiles Étoiles set representing a modern interpretation of a celestial element present in Chaumet’s collections for more than 150 years.
Set on the ‘Nuages d’Or’ cocktail ring between the points of three stars, a 5.01-carat diamond – one of the purest and rarest on Earth – reflects Chaumet’s mastery of magnifying stones in exceptional creations.
The jewellery house knows no bounds in its search for the finest gemstones, including sapphires, amethysts, tanzanites, imperial topaz, garnets, chrysoberyls, spinels, and black opals from Australia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Africa.
The new collection showcases how the renowned jewellery house is moving forward with more contemporary styles by experimenting with new materials and techniques, while adhering to trusted design formulas.
Located in historic Place Vendôme in the centre of Paris, Chaumet boasts a royal heritage spanning 240 years in 2020. The maison’s founder, Marie- Etienne Nitot, trained under the jeweller to Marie Antoinette. Following the French Revolution, he won favour with the then- Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, becoming his official jeweller in 1805. Numerous royal commissions followed, securing Chaumet’s position at the epicentre of a legendary period of French jewellery history.
Today, the firm is the only jeweller still in existence on display in The Louvre. Many of its creations are of such historical significance they are housed in the National Archives in Paris, and Chaumet itself is the keeper of its own extraordinary archive.