Chaumet is celebrating its 240th anniversary in 2020, marking 240 years of eternal youth and modernity, continually revitalized with the creation of exceptional jewels. The anniversary is an appropriate occasion to showcase Chaumet’s historic hôtel particulier at 12, Place Vendôme. The recently completed renovation honors the threefold vocation of this building steeped in history: receiving clients, preserving and promoting culture, and inspiring creativity.
Well before adopting the Chaumet name, in 1812 the Maison became the first jeweler to set up shop on Place Vendôme at no. 15, now the Ritz Paris. In 1907, Joseph Chaumet chose no. 12 for the Maison’s new premises, a unique place that brought a boutique, the workshop and a photo lab to record each creation under one roof. This address remains the beating heart of Chaumet with a symbolic location at the center of the legendary square.
A jewel of refined French style – including a registered historical landmark salon – the hôtel particulier Baudard de Saint-James at 12, Place Vendôme resonates with the memories of a remarkable destiny. It was here that the young Eugénie de Montijo took up residence in 1851, beginning a romance with the future emperor Napoleon III, who lived at no. 6. From one Napoleon to the next, the Maison became a witness to the young couple’s idyll, creating many sentimental jewels documented in the Chaumet archives.
The inception of the renovation project for Chaumet’s historic headquarters dates back to 2015. It had been a good many years since any restoration work had been done, notes Chaumet CEO Jean-Marc Mansvelt. “After an extensive review, we recognized the pressing need to restore the historic building that houses our boutique. It was absolutely essential to rediscover its brilliance and grandeur.”
To lead this ambitious undertaking Chaumet called on interior designer Patricia Grosdemange. “The thinking behind the project was to rediscover the spirit of a private residence and the art of hospitality, harmoniously linking history with innovation,” she explains. Past and present come together within the walls of 12 Vendôme to offer a unique experience for guests, expressed in elegant hospitality and sharing.
Designed to offer clients an exceptional reception, the boutique at 12 Vendôme counts several distinctive spaces, including the Arcade. Opened next to the historic boutique at 12, place Vendôme in 1970, this future-facing concept store was designed to bring a more informal, modern spirit to Parisian jewelry. Chaumet has now transformed the original space into a new room featuring contemporary furnishings with a decidedly 70s vibe. The Arcade now offers pieces that can be personalized or worn in myriad variations.
12 Vendôme also boasts an amazing cultural legacy. Its grand salons are jewels of 18th and 19th century architecture, including the Salon Chopin, a registered historical landmark where the celebrated pianist composed his final mazurka in 1849 while residing there. The salons have been restored and redesigned in the spirit of their original vocation as reception rooms in an elegant hôtel particulier, showcasing Chaumet’s unique heritage.
Last but not least, the High Jewelry workshop – the beating heart of the Maison for the past 240 years – now overlooks the Place Vendôme. This is where Chaumet’s artisan jewelers, setters, polishers and apprentices exercise their virtuosity, led by Benoît Verhulle, the 13th head of the workshop since the founding of the Maison.
To discover more about 12 Vendôme, don’t miss our special report: