In early January Chaumet took up temporary residence in an elegant hôtel particulier at 165, boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris while its historic address on Place Vendôme is undergoing restoration. This cultural center in the heart of the iconic Left Bank neighborhood gives Chaumet a chance to share its history with Parisians through a series of exhibitions and events. The first, which opened on February 22, is “Brillantes Écritures” , an exhibition that explores Chaumet’s intimate ties with prominent literary figures. The exhibition runs until April 1, 2019.
Throughout its history Chaumet has won the hearts and minds of literati and inspired great writers in every period. The exhibition “Brillantes Écritures” presents a dazzling dialogue between works of literature, historical jewels, archival documents, drawings and photographs. The pieces displayed recount the ties that Chaumet nurtured with celebrated writers who were its clients, such as Edith Wharton or Karen Blixen, literary figures including Marie-Laure de Noailles and the Comtesse Greffulhe, and above all the many great writers who made reference to the Maison in their writings.
Jean-Baptiste Fossin, who headed Chaumet in the Romantic period, regularly embodies the figure of a virtuoso jeweler celebrated by the Le Tout-Paris in works by Honoré de Balzac, Alfred de Musset, Théophile Gautier, Prosper Mérimée, Alexandre Dumas and others. These literary giants offer an unexpected rediscovery of different chapters in Chaumet’s history spanning historical accounts, society chronicles and romance novels alike.
The story of Chaumet’s remarkable jewels is very much a work in progress, and the exhibition also features a previously unreleased short story by Véronique Ovaldé, inspired by her fascination with precious stones and her encounter with Maison Chaumet. Her story transforms jewels into privileged observers of a family story, taking readers from modern-day France to imperial Russia via the Riviera and the Roaring Twenties.
165 boulevard Saint-Germain
Open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed Sunday.