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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Chaumet Reopens

12 Vendôme / Paris

A 240th anniversary is worth celebrating. In Paris, an eagle-eyed Napoleon perched atop the Vendôme Column was watching as his erstwhile jeweler of choice, Chaumet—residing in the square since 1780, first as Nitot, then as Nitot & Fils—rolled out the red carpet on February 26 for a grand reopening (after a year of renovation) of the historic hotel particulier. Napoleon and Joséphine’s love was sealed with lavish parures, tiaras, and sentimental gifts commissioned from the jeweler, and excerpts of their correspondence, carved into the wood paneling of the grand staircase, are part of the new contemporary décor behind the 18th-century Mansart façade. Elsewhere, alabaster walls glint with golden references to the couple in the form of wild grasses—Joséphine was a keen botanist—and the emblem of Napoleon, the bee. Treasures will be on exhibition all year, and include examples from the Maison’s extensive archive of 400,000 designs; around 700 nickel-silver tiara models from every era twinkling on the walls of the Salon des Diadèmes; and exquisite vintage jewels such as the Bourbon-Parme tiara with fuschia motifs. —Carol Woolton

12 Vendôme 12 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, France
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