By Frances Hopes
French jewellery house Chaumet showcases its timeless heritage and design elegance at Beijing’s Palace Museum in an exhibition of exquisite, one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces that is set to delight visitors and demonstrate the art of jewellery since the 18th century.
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Many of the unique pieces in the Imperial Splendours exhibition have left France or are on view to the public for the first time, so this culturally rich and historically significant location provides the perfect showcase for this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition by Chaumet. The magnificent architectural complex, also known as the Forbidden City, and the vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections, make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world. In 1961, the State Council designated the former imperial residence as one of China’s foremost-protected cultural heritage sites, and in 1987 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Imperial Splendours exhibition spans the history of Chaumet from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 21st century, presenting some 300 works, jewels, paintings, drawings and objets d’art to illustrate the House’s characteristic “art of jewellery”. The exhibition closes with a diadem created by Central Saint Martins student Scott Armstrong, winner of a design competition held in conjunction with Chaumet.