Tiaras are the cult jewel of maison Chaumet, and their latest exhibition ‘Chaumet in Majesty’ at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco offers a rare insight into the iconic jewel’s history
Since 1780 Chaumet has been the jeweller to sovereigns. This latest exhibition at Grimaldi Forum recounts the lives of the brand’s royal customers and delves into the history of the jewels themselves, highlighting tiaras as symbolic of timeless feminine power.
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As Chaumet demonstrates, a tiara is not just a decorative jewel, but one which has an important functionality, specifically designed to imbue its wearer with virtuous qualities and authority. For example, The Briar Rose Bud tiara (1922) features fauna motif referring back to the power and prestige of classical laurel wreaths whilst the material qualities of the pearls evoke wisdom and diamonds are traditionally associated with timeless elegance and strength. The Pearl and Mircomosaic Parer (1811) also projects an image of its imperial court. The tiara depicts scenes of Roman landscapes through mosaic techniques to lend the piece and its wearer an air of romanticism and grandeur.
The exhibition brings together 250 pieces of jewellery, some of which are being seen publicly for the first time, sourced from the collections of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and museum collections from all over the world. In the exhibition we see the heritage of the maison’s forms and the quality and beauty of their pieces, but more importantly, we can begin to appreciate jewellery’s role in signifying women’s power throughout the ages.