Chaumet: Buttercups are the French Maison’s New Muse

French jeweller Chaumet has glorified nature in all its forms for centuries. Blooming flowers, ears of corn and wheat, laurels and oak-tree leaves have repeatedly featured as central elements in the jewellery of this legendary brand. Is it any wonder that Chaumet’s designers are returning to their favourite motif in 2021?

Since 2014, when the Hortensia high jewellery collection was released, the eponymous flower has been Chaumet’s “chosen one”. Its delicate petals have decorated opulent jewellery designed for special occasions as well as more modest rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings from the permanent collection. Now, the French jewellery Maison has returned to its traditional naturalistic aesthetics and presented a new collection of high jewellery inspired by the buttercup.

The buttercup, a new symbol of beauty and charm, is embodied in two jewellery lines: Éclosion de Chaumet and Esquisse de Chaumet. Even though they were based on the same flower, outwardly they have little in common. I assume this is because the colour of buttercups, which on the face of it look like small peonies, anemones or roses, are not only yellow - the traditional colour of this genus - but also orange, pink, cream, dark red or burgundy. Only dark and light blue tones are missing from the buttercup’s colour palette. That is, they are missing in nature, but the imagination of Chaumet’s designers has produced a deep blue colour scheme, one that is representative of the Maison and underpins the rings, earrings, necklaces and watches of the Esquisse de Chaumet. The lines of Ceylon sapphires and tanzanites, masterfully trimmed with pavé diamonds, mother-of-pearl and onyx, resemble the outline of a bud with petals curling around its edges.

Esquisse de Chaumet necklace and ring with sapphires, tanzanites, diamonds, mother-of-pearl and onyx

Éclosion de Chaumet earrings, ring and brooch with multi-coloured gemstones

In a ring, earrings and a pendant with a removable brooch, the jeweller has masterfully managed to convey, down to the smallest details, the diminutiveness, fragility and tenderness of this amazing flower. The metal and precious stones look voluminous but simultaneously weightless, like lace, as only the outline of the petals is made of precious materials.

On the Esquisse de Chaumet watch made of white gold with a Swiss self-winding mechanism and a bezel set with diamonds with a blue lacquer coating, Chaumet has depicted the bud very schematically, leaving as much of the mother-of-pearl dial on view as possible. The shiny watch strap is made of blue-dyed crocodile leather, and the white gold buckle is set with diamonds.

Now let’s take a look at the Éclosion de Chaumet line, inspired not only by the colour variety of the species but also by the rich colours of Fauvism, the avant-garde style of painting. It is incredibly bright and cheerful as it contains almost all shades of precious stones: yellow and pink sapphires, tangerine and tsavorite garnets, Paraiba and green tourmalines, pink and red spinels, yellow agates, rubellites, emeralds, onyx, carnelian and diamonds! Sculptural earrings accentuate the curves of the ear, rings delicately entwine the finger, and an openwork brooch in the shape of a fluttering butterfly typifies the motifs in the Maison's archival collections. The Éclosion de Chaumet watches also distinguish themselves by their colour palettes and come in 4 variations: bright green, fiery red, refined orange and grey. The stones on the bezel create a jewelled structure that frames the colourful picture – a three-dimensional hand-painted grand feu enamelled colour gradation crafted in collaboration with renowned artist, Anita Porchet.

These amazing pieces of jewellery with their vibrant colours are a celebration of abundance and natural vitality. We can consider this a bright and joyful start to 2021!

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