28 September 2017

Tiara Thursday: The Chaumet Pansy Tiara

The Chaumet Pansy Tiara
The pansy flower symbolizes remembrance, or thoughts; its name comes from the French pensée, or "thought". With a meaning either romantic ("thinking of you") or memorial, pansies have been regularly used in jewelry designs, especially during the Victorian and Edwardian eras when the language of flowers was popular. But the flower doesn't seem to have caught on in the world of tiara design, making this example of a pansy tiara an instant standout among diamond floral tiaras.

The Chaumet Pansy Tiara is a Fossin design dating from around 1850, an example of the themes of romance and nature produced during Jean Baptiste Fossin's ownership of the esteemed French jewelry house. The tiara features three pansy flowers with surrounding foliage, made of pavé-set diamonds, silver, and gold. The three large flowers are detachable for use as brooches.

The tiara worn on the cover of ¡HOLA!
The tiara is usually listed as part of a private collection; Tiara by Diana Scarisbrick credits ownership to the Hon. Mrs. John Hastings Bass. It's a piece that has been regularly featured by Chaumet, appearing in their exhibitions and publicity materials. It's also been modeled in photoshoots, as shown here.

A model wears the tiara for a photoshoot
Symbolism aside, the pansy's irregular shape may make it a tough one to incorporate into a successful tiara design. The Chaumet tiara in use seems a bit top heavy, despite the leaves used at the bottom to even things out. I still find it a nice break from the usual diamond floral tiara designs - a distinctive entry in a deep field.

What say you: A successful floral design, or no?