Last week in Paris, Chaumet transported us to Africa with the presentation of its High Jewelry collection, “Trésors d’Afrique.” Following the “Promenades Impériales of Russia” and “Japan’s Chant du Printemps” collections, this third and final destination in the “Les Mondes de Chaumet” series tells many tales of Sub-Saharan Africa through a collection in five parts—Cascade Royales, Ronde de Pierres, Terres d’Or, Talismania, and Espiègleries.
Conceived after an encounter with Kenyan artist, Evans Mbugua, “Trésors d’Afrique” showcases the generosity of nature and the treasures it offers us by exploring how the region inspired artists like Pablo Picasso and André Derain, to the universal role of jewelry as talisman and a symbol of status.
Kasai velvet and Kente fabrics of Ghana are reinvented, (seen in the blood red rubies and yellow sapphires of the Terres d’Or pieces) while Nilotic and the Maasai communities are represented in Ronde de Pierres. The green Muzo emeralds of Cascade Royales are reminiscent of accessories worn by Rwandan queens, and references to traditional art are seen in the rings that make up Talismania.
Perhaps the most memorable were the Espiègleries pieces—a dedication to the flora and fauna of the Sub-Saharan terrain. Designed by Mbugua himself, the artist created six brooches and two watches, including a colorfully spotted giraffe with its head in the clouds and an emerald zebra with a glittering golden monkey perched on its back.