Photo : Boucheron, Ivy Necklace L47, 1883
On the eve of its 160th anniversary, Boucheron is presenting “Vendôrama,” an immersive exhibition into the glamorous world of Haute Joaillerie. What better setting than the Monnaie de Paris – more specifically, the Mansard Garden, recently restored by Boucheron – to retrace the history of the first jeweler to open its doors on Place Vendôme, all the way back in 1893 at building number 26: that’s where the jeweler found the best lighting to make the diamonds in the window case sparkle their brightest. In a nod to the brand’s history, the exhibition’s organization and décor reinterpret the Exposition Universelle world’s fairs held in Paris during the late 19th century.
Flashback to Paris, 1858. Frédéric Boucheron opens his first jewelry shop inside the Palais Royal, a mainstay of French luxury. Appealing to a refined clientele made up of locals, Russian aristocrats, and American businessmen, Boucheron rolls out a series of precious creations whose designs would leave their mark on the era. Flash forward almost ten years later to the 1867 Exposition Univerelle in Paris, where the jeweler would earn a gold medal for his innovative jewelry and watches. In 1888, he creates the first Serpent necklace, a little treasure in the form of a protective spirit animal wrapped around the neck, crafted for his wife Gabrielle and destined to become one of the house’s iconic designs. Another world’s fair brings another timeless Boucheron piece: the Point d’Interrogation (“Question Mark”) necklace emerges as a new classic at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. With its airy and supple aspect, the necklace came about while Frédéric Boucheron and his studio lead were playing with a peacock feather, twisting and bending the plume as they discovered a new form that could adapt perfectly to the contours of the neck. Continuing a pioneering series of naturalistic jewelry, fauna and flora remain the primary inspirations of the house and still feature in many of its collections.
Each of these accomplishments bears witness to the jeweler’s excellent craftsmanship and notable contribution to the world of Parisian luxury. Viewers can discover the complete history in this interactive exhibition that combines animations, workshops, and other surprise events. “Vendôrama” runs from January 12-28. Viewers can reserve tickets free of charge at vendorama.boucheron.com.
Written by Alice Butterlin.