The story of French jewelry Maison Chaumet is a long and distinguished one reaching back to the late 18th century. In 1780, Marie-Etienne Nitot started his own jewellery business in Paris, having previously worked with Aubert, jeweler to Queen Marie-Antoinette. As his success grew, he was joined by his son Francois-Regnault Nitot, becoming the official jewelers to Napoleon in 1802. Among the pieces they created were the wedding jewels for both Empresses Josephine and Marie Louise, as well as Napoleon’s coronation crown, the Consular sword, and the tiara of Pius VII. After the fall of Napoleon, the firm was sold to Jean-Baptiste Fossin, who had worked for Nitot and who continued the business along with his son Jules.
It wasn’t until 1889 that the company evolved into what it is known as today, when jeweler Joseph Chaumet acquired the company outright and changed its name. He was director of the company until 1928 and, aside from giving it an illustrious name, he successfully shepherded Maison into the 20th century with jewelry, accessories, and tiaras inspired by the prevailing Belle Epoque style. Chaumet exhibited at expositions worldwide, including Paris in 1900 where he won a gold medal, St Petersburg in 1902, Milan in 1906, and Buenos Aires in 1910. In 1907 the company moved opposite the Ritz Hotel where the firm maintains its flagship boutique to this day.
Chaumet remained a family business until 1987, when it was acquired by an investment group and later, in 1999, it was purchased by LMVH who remain the owners to this day. Chaumet has adapted through the centuries to tastes and trends and continues to produce exquisite jewelry, watches, and tiaras that are sought after by discerning collectors around the world.