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A BELLE EPOQUE DIAMOND PENDENT NECKLACE, BY CHAUMET

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A BELLE EPOQUE DIAMOND PENDENT NECKLACE, BY CHAUMET
Designed as a series of old European-cut diamond openwork floral panels to the pavé and collet-set cluster spacers suspending a circular openwork panel of similar motif, circa 1910, 34.5 cm., in a Chaumet London red leather fitted case (accompanied by tiara, four brooch and two haircomb fittings)
By Chaumet
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Please note that the tiara was commissioned by Sir Archibald Williamson, 1st Lord Forres (1861-1931) for his second marriage on 27th November 1912 to the Hon. Agnes Freda Herschell.

Lot Essay

In 1905, sixteen years after purchasing and taking control of Chaumet Paris from his father-in-law, Joseph Chaumet opened a branch of the house bearing his name at 154 Bond Street in London. He left the direction of the boutique in the hands of Reuben Astley.

According to the Chaumet archives, this jewel was purchased in 1912 by Sir Archibald Williamson of 36 Belgrave Square. It is accompanied by a letter in the hand of Mr. Astley explaining to his client the various ways that the jewel could be worn. Also present are the original drawings, as illustrated on the fold-out. Typical of jewellery at the beginning of the century, the piece could be transformed into a tiara, a bandeau, a necklace, a choker, two epaulettes, a devant-de-corsage or a bracelet. Adding to its versatility, one could also use parts of it as smaller brooches during the daytime.

Chaumet are particularly celebrated for their tiaras. In the late 19th Century and throughout the Belle Epoque and Art Deco periods, they supplied "tout Paris" and, in effect, much of the world's high society and aristocracy with just such marvels as this jewel. Its delicateness and fine manufacture are quintessential of the French House. A superb selection of these headpieces can currently be seen in the exhibition "Chaumet Paris Deux Siècles de Création" at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris (until June 28).
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