A French Belle Epoque platinum-topped gold necklace with diamonds by Chaumet. The necklace has old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 68 carats, H-I-J color, VS/SI clarity. The necklace is designed as a graduated double festoon. The center stone weighs approximately 2.50 carats, with the remaining stones graduating to .20 carat. The house of Chaumet was founded in 1780 by Marie-Etiene Nitot as Nitot et fils. Nitot had begun his career working with Auber, jeweler to Queen Marie-Antoinette. An aristocratic clientele was soon to follow him to his new workshop. A reputation as the "jeweler of the tiara" was earned in those early commissions when Nitot created the coronation crown for Napoleon. Napoleon wanted to make his family transcendent and saw jewels as the true symbol of power to be used in displaying his kingly authority. Empress Josephine appeared at the coronation resplendent in a tiara created for her by Nitot, and so it began.A similar festoon necklace is pictured in Chaumet Paris, by Roselyne Hurel and Diana Scarisbrick, Paris musées, 1998, page 95, Plate 128.
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