Art Deco Chaumet Sapphire Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, Circa 1925
Joseph Chaumet, 1852-1928
The House of Chaumet has its foundation in the family firm, Nitot & Fils, dating back to 1780. The company was bought by Fossin & Fils in the early nineteenth century and was joined by Jean Valentin Morel, who, from 1835, was head of artworks. Jean Valentin and his son Prosper Morel moved to England, setting up at 7, New Burlington Street. They had a stand at the ‘Great Exhibition’, in London and were granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria. Prosper Morel returned, from London, to Paris, in 1854 and eventually succeeded Jules Fossin, in 1868. His daughter, Marie, married Joseph Chaumet, in 1875. Chaumet had apprenticed as a jeweller, with family friends, in Bordeaux, from the age of fifteen. He became Morel's business partner in 1874 and was made manager of the firm, after Prosper Morel moved from Paris to the countryside, in 1885. In 1889 he bought the company, giving it the Chaumet name. Joseph's maker's mark was registered in 1890, at 62 rue de Richelieu, Paris. He later moved to the Place Vendome and in 1907 the shop and all workshops moved to number 12, opposite the Ritz Hotel, where the firm still has its flagship boutique. Chaumet opened a store at 730, Fifth Avenue, in New york, in 1910. He created jewels for virtually every court in Europe, Russia, India and the near East as well as for wealthy and notable clients. In 1900 he was was appointed to the Russian Imperial Order. Chaumet sold a magnificent diamond necklace to the Shah of Persia. His company was proud of its client service. There was the story of Lady Aberconway, who, owing 100 French Francs to the Ritz, ran across the Place Vendome, to ask Joseph for a loan, in exchange for her Chaumet brooch. He immediately lent her the money, and handed her the brooch back, telling her she had ‘left it behind’. Chaumet gained a reputation as a master of tiaras and the Belle Époque at the beginning of the 20th Century. The hardships of war-time France had brought their difficulties however the firm survived and proved successful. His designs were inspired by nature, garlands, bows and tassels, some featured the large stones or baroque pearls, that he favoured and set up a laboratory to study. He meticulously supervised every stage of the production and set up additional workshops for a wide range of craftsmen, including his own diamond cutters and a "Salon des Perles", where ladies would grade and string pearls. His record keeping was exacting, photographing his jewellery from the 1890s onwards and keeping models. The practice has continued and now the archive is huge, running into millions of documents. He won medals in many international exhibitions. He later created the more geometric Art Deco fashions of the '20s, in 1925 exhibiting at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Joseph Chaumet's died in 1928. He was succeeded by his son Marcel. In 1934 Chaumet closed, due to the Great Depression. It opened again, in 1944. In 1958 Marcel's sons, Jacques and Pierre, were appointed executive directors, overseeing the company throughout the 1960s and '70s, before filing for bankruptcy in 1987. Chaumet was bought first by an investment group and then, in 1999, by LVMH who remain the owners today.
With thanks to Hancocks and AJU Lang.
- Circa 1925
- Sapphire and diamond
- Approximately 187 x 7.6mm
Approximately 187 x 7.6mm
- Design House
- Country of origin
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