It is thought that inspiration for Coco’s camellia designs stemmed from her early experience watching a performance of Alexandre Dumas’ literary work La Dame aux Camélias, where the flower takes centre stage. Following this discovery Coco adorned herself with silk versions of her favourite flower, developing these designs using a diverse range of materials, even extending her love of the bloom to chandeliers in her house.
In 1932 Coco launched her first fine jewellery collection titled Bijoux de Diamants comprising 35 diamond pieces. Coco commented at the time that diamonds were used ‘because it represents, in its density, the greatest value in the smallest volume’. In 1993 Chanel re-joined the world of high jewellery, recreating designs from Coco’s original collection, including the trademark camellia set with diamonds or rubies.
This pavé-set diamond bangle is an example of pieces created during this period. It is a celebration of not only diamonds, which formed such a major part of Chanel’s first jewellery collection, but the bangle also depicts one of the most instantly recognisable emblems associated with Chanel – the camellia.
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