Water in all its states at Chaumet for the Biennale des Antiquaires


Inspiration for Claire Dévé-Rakoff often starts with the Chaumet archives and a mood board of photographs. This time, a 1904 tiara with points like stalagmites and a pool view from her house in the South of France triggered an exercise of style on water, be it flowing, frozen, or cascading.

However, instead of translating water in a pure blue, the creative director of the French jeweler used a variety of colored gemstones, including yellow sapphires and emeralds to evoke memories often attached to water, from the ripples created by a pebble skimmed across a pond to the reflection of the sun after a monsoon downpour.

To be showcased at the Biennale des Antiquaires this September, “Lumières d’eau” is a collection of fifty-three pieces unfolding in twelve chapters — a symbolic number for the maison located at 12, Place Vendôme in Paris.

“The idea was to play on the reflection of water, a bit like Claude Monet did with his paintings, and represent water in all its states, solid, liquid, or as the aurora borealis in a frozen arctic setting, etc. That’s why we didn’t start from the stones, but from the concept and the design. This is the way I often like to work,” Dévé-Rakoff told Blouin Lifestyle.

Chaumet Lumiere d'Eau

Chaumet Lumiere d'Eau

“With this theme of water, most people would expect us to use white and light blue, especially because Chaumet often uses sapphires. But this time, I’ve used all sorts of gemstones, except for rubies,” she said, adding, “It was actually quite complicated to find the stones that would match my ideas.”

The result: a long diamond necklace adorned with color-graded blue and yellow sapphires on white and yellow gold that evoke the sea washing on a golden beach, or a necklace of frosted rock crystal set with brilliant-cut diamonds with precious pear-shaped diamonds dropping like shards of ice. “I didn’t want a very transparent rock crystal. The idea was to represent an iceberg with the diamonds like powdered snowflakes on top,” she said.

Emeralds surrounded by swirls and rings of sparkling diamonds with sculpted chrysoprase stones bring to mind the stone skipping across a dark green pond, while milky opals with their multi-color reflections are used to evoke the aurora borealis.

A long playful necklace set with diamonds and blue sapphires ends with a troidia-cut tanzanite of 45.64 carats and an unusual articulated tassel of lapis lazuli and black spinel beads to represent an endless dive into the abyss, explains Dévé-Rakoff.

Chaumet Lumiere d'Eau Collection

Chaumet Lumiere d'Eau Collection

As first published on BlouinArtinfo.com