The Place Vendôme jeweler, known for its close affiliation with Napoléon I and Empress Joséphine, will stage an exhibition of around 300 items from the 18th century to the present in Beijing’s Forbidden City. These include paintings, jewels, drawings and objet d’art dating at the National Palace Museum as part of the Imperial Splendors retrospective, running from 11 April to 2 July. The exhibition offers a visual dialogue between Chinese and French jewellery making, with the pieces unveiled serving as a way to enhance cultural kinship through shared reciprocal influences.
Staged under the scientific direction of Henri Loyrette, former director of the Louvre museum in Paris, Imperial Splendors culminates with the presentation of the tiara of the 21st century, the result of a creative competition at Central Saint Martins in London. For this special occasion, the Maison gave carte blanche to jewellery students at Central Saint Martins to create the tiara – an emblem of the Maison that has inspired many designs since the days of Empress Josephine.
The competition brought together 60 students from two classes – the Bachelor of Arts in Jewellery and Master’s Degree in Jewellery Design. This resulted in a finalist group of eight that were briefed by Chaumet CEO, Jean-Marc Mansvelt. The winner is 21-year-old British student Scott Armstrong and his ‘Vertiges’ tiara.
The retrospective will also feature items on loan from prestigious collections and prominent museums including the Louvre, the Château de Fontainebleau and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Watch the first making-of videos below and see the full series here.
Meeting With History
Creation & Hope
The Last 8