The exhibition comprises nearly 250 diadems and tiaras, symbols of power, love and celebration, in a setting inspired by the mythic Place Vendôme.
It's one of the oldest French elite jewellers, indissociably linked to the name of its founder, Marie-Etienne Nitot, official jeweller to Napoleon I. At the Grimaldi Forum this summer, Chaumet retraces its history through one of its most emblematic ornaments, the diadem, a jewelled headdress it has been making for royalty since 1780. The exhibition was made possible by exceptional loans from museums and prestigious collections including those of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In Ancient Greece and Rome, the diadem was a sign of power. Napoleon also chose it to express the grandeur of his reign, a majesty that was enhanced by his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais. "The fashion then spread throughout Europe during the 19th century, and not only to crowned heads; all the women of the aristocracy had to have a tiara," says Stéphane Bern, co-curator of the exhibition alongside Christophe Vachaudez. An emblem of majesty, associated with the crowning of love, this ornament is also a precious witness to the evolution of styles and fashions over time. Tiaras have made a comeback since 2000, but now they serve to hold the bride's veil in place.
Chaumet en majesté. Joyaux de souveraines depuis 1780
Du 22 juillet au 28 août
Grimaldi Forum Monaco
Par Caroline Stefani