Biennale des Antiquaires: Chaumet previews high jewellery collection that captures a watery wonderland

In advance of the Biennale in Paris this autumn, Chaumet previews its new Lumières d'Eau high jewellery collection: a watery wonderland full of rare gemstones.

Chaumet bracelet in white gold set with a 39.05ct cabochon-cut white opal from Ethiopia, brilliant-cut diamonds, oval-cut violet sapphires from Ceylon and Madagascar and round violet sapphires, from the Lumieres d’Eau high jewellery collection.

By Francesca Fearon in London

There is something therapeutic about watching waves beating rhythmically onto a sandy shore that allows the mind to wander freely. As well as being the artistic director of Chaumet, Claire Dévé-Rakoff is a keen photographer. Following a holiday by the sea, Dévé-Rakoff was so mesmerised by the way the images she took caught the light on the water that she was inspired to make her Paris Biennale des Antiquaires debut with a collection based on light and water, appropriately named Lumières d'Eau.

Her opulent collection for Chaumet will flood the Grand Palais with the blue-green hues of the ocean and the myriad colours and states of all things liquid: sapphires, emeralds, lapis lazuli, tanzanite and tourmalines along with watery white Ethiopian opals and the warm sandy tones of yellow sapphires and golden South Pacific pearls. A passionate colourist, Dévé-Rakoff's jewels are an invitation to dive deep into these exquisite gemstone waters.

There are fringed blue sapphire sautoirs and earrings dipped in sandy golden yellow sapphires, much like the tide lapping at the shore. There is also an intense blue 45.64 carat tanzanite that has seemingly emerged from the depths of the abyss to form a pom-pom on a lapis lazuli and black spinel beaded necklace. This, along with 59.58 and 39 carat icy white opals in another of the sets within the Lumières d'Eau collection, are among the biggest stones that Chaumet has ever worked with.

While Dévé-Rakoff's collection is rich with colour, water is also celebrated in its frozen state with diamonds mixed with rock crystal - a stone that Chaumet has not used for many years but is becoming increasingly popular in jewellery circles right now.  A collar of frozen rock crystal and diamond melts into liquid, while another diamond glistens like water on a frosted crystal ring.

In all there will be 53 magical pieces of Chaumet high jewellery on show at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris this September that will transport us to the watery kingdom's treasures that lie below.  

To read more stories on the Biennale de Paris this September, please click here.

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